Returning to Campus Safely
On January 4, President Jere Morehead and fellow UGA leaders issued a statement regarding UGA’s safe return to campus this semester. To read the entire statement, see here. A summary of the message is provided below.
As students, faculty and staff return to UGA for spring semester and the spike in the positive cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant increases, we want to re-emphasize the importance of being fully vaccinated for COVID variants as well as the need for receiving the booster shot. Data clearly demonstrate that vaccinations and boosters provide the best defense against COVID variants. Although break-through cases are possible, the risk of severe illness is significantly lower among those who have been fully vaccinated and boostered.
We fully expect to see a spike in the number of positive cases reported over Winter Break as indicated on the University Health Center (UHC) website. The University Health Center offers first, second and booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine free of charge to faculty, staff, students and their eligible dependents aged 16 and up. Faculty and staff who would like to schedule a vaccine appointment may do so by calling 706-542-5575. Students may continue to schedule their COVID vaccine appointments online through the Patient Portal. While supplies last, you can also receive a $20 gift card following your vaccination.
Surveillance (asymptomatic) testing remains an important step in our defense. These tests are free to faculty, staff and students. Click here to schedule an appointment. Walk-ups also are welcome. Testing will be expanded through pop-up locations at the Tate Student Center offered by the College of Public Health on January 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Any faculty, staff or students who tests positive for COVID is required to report that positive test through DawgCheck and to follow the advice provided. Typically, a positive test will require a period of isolation, depending on the test results. Quarantining also applies to unvaccinated individuals who are or have been in close contact with an infected individual. The Georgia Department of Public Health recently changed its protocols on quarantine and isolation to reflect CDC guidance, and UGA is now following the new guidance. Click here to see the latest information.
We continue to strongly encourage the wearing of face masks when inside campus buildings. Face coverings are required on Campus Transit buses in accordance with federal transportation rules. Students can pick up masks at information desks in the Tate Student Center and the Miller Learning Center, while supplies last.
Please remember that the best way to protect yourself, your family ,and our University community is to be vaccinated and boosted, and to wear face coverings. Remember: Vax Up, Mask Up! We want to thank you again for your continued patience, understanding, and tenacity.