As the COVID-19 delta strain continues to spread across the country, questions about booster shots, hospitalizations and vaccine hesitation are causing frustration for many. As part of The Red & Black’s health news coverage, we publish weekly reports on COVID-19 news and recent statistics.
According to the university’s reporting system, COVID-19 cases have decreased at the University of Georgia compared to last week. UGA reported 23 new cases in the week of November 15-21 compared to 29 last week. Surveillance test positivity rate dropped to 0% this week, with no positive cases detected by surveillance testing.
According to The HillSurgeon General Vivek Murthy said Sunday that as the winter season approaches, an increase in COVID-19 infections is expected. He called on people to get vaccinated.
With fewer people wearing masks, respiratory illnesses such as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus have spread across the country.
The deadline for vaccinating University of Georgia employees has been extended to January 4, 2022, from the previous deadline of December 8, 2021, according to an ArchNews email sent Thursday. The new deadline was announced Thursday by the White House.
This extension gives UGA contractors additional time to get vaccinated. According to the ArchNews email, some contractor employees have been notified while others are still being identified and notified.
Appointments can be scheduled here. As vaccination status is verified on site, individuals should bring their original vaccination card to the appointment.
Employees covered by this policy include those who work on or in connection with a federal contract, or who work in a covered contractor’s workplace.
Certain University of Georgia employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8, 2021, in accordance with federal law, according to an ArchNews email sent Tuesday.
Georgia hospitals have about 22% of their beds in intensive care units for sick patients. From Nov. 7-13, nearly all cases of COVID-19 in the southeastern U.S. were delta variants, according to the CDC.
The majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
Data Breakdown: University of Georgia
The university conducted 599 surveillance tests during the week of November 15.
Of the total positive cases this week, seven were from employees and 22 from students.
There were four positive tests at the University Health Center. There were zero positive tests from UGA surveillance testing, four positive tests from UGA community members reporting from Athens testing sites, and 15 positive tests from UGA community members reporting from other testing sites.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 off campus must report it through DawgCheck, UGA’s monitoring tool. Because students may have tested positive off-campus and failed to report it, the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the UGA community may be higher.
For the week of November 8-14, the UHC delivered 408 vaccines, a significant drop from 537 administered last week. In total, the UHC administered 30,624 vaccines.
Students and teachers can book a vaccine appointment through the UHC Vaccine Portal or get vaccinated at a University System of Georgia school. Students can also be tested for COVID-19 at the UHC with walk-in appointments.
Data Breakdown: Athens-Clarke County
fRom Nov. 19-24, the county reported 52 new confirmed cases, compared with the exact same number of cases Nov. 13-18, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate was 4.6%. The World Health Organization recommends that communities maintain a positivity rate of less than 5%.
ACC reported zero confirmed COVID-19 deaths this week.
According to the Georgia Geospatial Information Office, the number of current hospitalizations in Region E — which includes ACC and several surrounding counties — fell slightly last week. As of November 24, there were 26 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, compared to 35 on November 17.
According to the Georgia DPH, approximately 46% of the county is fully vaccinated.
Data Breakdown: Georgia
Statewide, the weekly number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen.
According to the DPH, Georgia reported 6,673 confirmed cases of COVID-19 between November 19 and 24. This is an increase of about 480 from the 6,189 cases between November 13-18. The state’s seven-day average positivity rate on Nov. 24 was 3.7%.
The number of confirmed deaths in the state fell. Georgia recorded 143 confirmed COVID-19 deaths between Nov. 19-24, compared to 161 between Nov. 13-18.
According to the DPH, nearly 5.3 million Georgians are fully vaccinated, or about 51% of the state. By comparison, the US has a current full vaccination rate of 58%. About 6 million Georgians, or 58% of the state, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Currently, the CDC says the level of community transmission in Clarke County is moderate.
The CDC has also released guidelines advising vaccinated individuals to still wear masks in public, indoor settings.