UGA confirms 143 positive COVID-19 cases among students, staff

The University of Georgia confirmed Monday that nearly 150 students and campus workers have tested positive for COVID-19.

The UGA Health Center said that 143 people tested positive, according to a news release. It is unclear how many of those positive cases are students and how many are staff members.

“These individuals include students or employees associated with any of our campuses who have been tested by the UHC and those who have been tested elsewhere and reported to UHC,” the release said.

Over the past few weeks, the trend has been that more young people are contracting the virus. Athens, which has dozens of bars in its downtown area, has been abuzz since businesses reopened with limited capacity.

RELATED: Coronavirus cases rising among young people in the Deep South

UGA student Caroline Croucher told Channel 2 that bars have been an escape for her and her friends, but the coronavirus has not gone away. She recently became sick and tested positive.

“We were being careless because we weren’t wearing masks,” she said. “No one was wearing masks.”

RELATED: Kemp pushes masks and extends state of emergency for the coronavirus

She wasn’t the only one in her group to contract COVID-19. Within days, seven other friends that went out with Croucher received positive test results.

“They were bedridden, could not go to work,” Croucher said.

Since the pandemic entered Georgia, Clarke County has had 490 cases and 15 deaths, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

ExploreCOMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

Croucher said that bar employees all wore masks but virtually no patrons wore them. The spike in cases among younger populations has prompted Florida and Texas to close bars, but that has not happened in Georgia.

UGA, which plans to resume in-person classes in the fall, strongly encourages students to wear masks but does not require them.

MORE: UGA to students: 'We look forward to seeing you on campus in a few weeks'

In other news: