AJC College COVID Tracker: UGA reports large decline in new cases

August 20, 2020 Athens - Students make their way as the University of Georgia started classes for the fall semester  on Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
August 20, 2020 Athens - Students make their way as the University of Georgia started classes for the fall semester on Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Here are the latest developments of COVID-19 cases on metro Atlanta’s college campuses and in other parts of Georgia:

University of Georgia

The university on Wednesday released its weekly update on COVID-19 cases among its students and employees, which showed a significant decline in new cases.

UGA reported 421 positive cases between Sept. 7 to 13. The university reported 1,490 positive cases between Aug. 31 to Sept. 6.

About one-half of the new cases were self-reported by students and employees. UGA conducted 1,655 tests on campus during the last week and reported 126 positive COVID-19 cases. The number of positive cases, 7.6%, was lower than the prior total of 9.1%, according to UGA’s data.

UGA also for the first time reported hospitalization rates and recovery rates. The most recent hospitalization rate was 1% and the recovery rate was 93%, according to the website.

University leaders in recent weeks have urged students to follow social distancing recommendations and requirements to reduce the number of positive cases, particularly as the number of positive cases has declined at other Georgia higher education institutions, such as Georgia College and Georgia Tech.

The university has about 50,000 students and employees, second only to Georgia State University, which has about 54,000 students and nearly 5,700 employees last school year.

UGA President Jere Morehead urged students in a statement Wednesday to remain vigilant in taking measures to prevent infections.

“While this report indicates some positive and encouraging trends, COVID-19 remains a serious public health issue for our community, and we must not lose sight of that fact,” said Morehead. “I know that it sounds repetitious, but everyone must remain focused on making sound decisions each day. I urge students to remain vigilant: wear your masks, maintain your distance from others, and stay away from social venues where appropriate distancing is impossible to maintain. We must continue to work together in our campus and local community to flatten the curve and achieve sustained success over the next few weeks.”