UGA reports 47 new COVID-19 cases in last week

Numbers also show less than 1% positive rate in surveillance test results as classes begin Thursday

The University of Georgia reported Wednesday 47 confirmed COVID-19 cases in a recent seven-day stretch as its fall semester begins Thursday.

University officials said Wednesday they conducted nearly 800 surveillance tests to identify asymptomatic carriers during that time frame and reported three positive results for a rate of 0.38%, according to its website.

UGA has created COVID-19 testing and other measures to reduce the spread of the disease, but many faculty members and students have said the measures do not go far enough. UGA has reported about 500 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March, but officials have stressed many of those people were not on campus when diagnosed.

About 10,000 people work at UGA more than any public university in Georgia. Its enrollment, about 39,000 students last year, was second only to Georgia State University.

Several Georgia colleges and universities have reported an increase in COVID-19 cases upon reopening for the fall semester. At the University of North Georgia, where video of a large group of maskless students partying near its Dahlonega campus Saturday made national headlines, 10 students were diagnosed Tuesday with COVID-19. Georgia College reported 21 new cases Tuesday, its highest single-day total since it began collecting such data.

The increases and images of students ignoring social distancing practices have renewed calls among some faculty and students for University System schools to conduct all classes online for the fall semester. UGA President Jere Morehead and University System of Georgia leaders have stressed the need for some form of in-person learning.

Here’s a breakdown of how many students and employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19 at Georgia’s largest public universities since the pandemic began in March. Some people were diagnosed off campus, but required to report their diagnosis to the school.

College/University Cases

University of Georgia 504

Georgia Tech 196

Georgia State University 107

University of North Georgia 70

Kennesaw State University 68