Georgia’s colleges, universities seeing COVID-19 cases rising

ATLANTA — The number of COVID-19 cases is going up at some of Georgia’s largest colleges and universities.

The University of Georgia, Emory University and Georgia Tech all have seen case counts rise the past two weeks.

Emory sent a letter to students and staff Tuesday warning of increased COVID-19 cases on campus.

We reached out to metro Atlanta’s largest colleges to see where COVID cases are on the rise. We found a wide variety in how schools track that.

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For months, University of North Georgia professor Matthew Boedy has been trying to track those COVID numbers himself because data from some schools is lacking.

“The data is so incomplete, and the case counts are so different at these schools we just don’t know,” Boedy said.

At private Emory, the school releases data daily online. Students and staff are required to be vaccinated and wear masks.

Emory says 95.6% of students are vaccinated. The 7-day moving average is 25.25 cases, with 224 confirmed cases in the last 10 days.

Emory says no students have been sick enough to require hospitalization this semester.

“It does make me feel safer to come here and be able to know we are all vaccinated, especially with the delta variant,” Emory sophomore Phoebe Taiwo said.

Georgia Tech also updates students daily online. Tech has a 7-day moving average of 26.57 cases, with 184 cases in September.

But other schools don’t provide as much or as frequent information.

Kennesaw State says it had 247 student cases last week. The University of Georgia had 505 cases total for the week but does not separate that between students and staff.

Georgia State says students reported 62 cases — a low number that Boedy questions.

“Especially if you’re a parent concerned about your kid’s campus, there’s not accurate data and you just know that COVID is going around,” Boedy said

“A lot students still feel like since it’s not mandatory, they don’t have to wear the masks and folks don’t care if they’re sick, they’ll still come to class,” GSU student Quinnci Thomas said.

We reached out to the University System of Georgia.

A representative says they leave it up to the individual schools to decide what COVID-19 information they want to share with their campuses.

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