UGA confirms nearly 150 cases of COVID-19 among students, staff

UGA confirms nearly 150 cases of COVID-19 among students, staff

ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia confirmed on Monday that nearly 150 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan said the university wouldn’t say how many of those 143 infected are students and how many are campus workers.

The current trends show that more and more young people are getting the virus.

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As bars reopened to limited capacity in Athens, students and others swarmed in to have some drinks and fun.

It was a bit of a break from the pandemic, but for some, the virus was ready to pounce.

“We were being careless because we weren’t wearing masks. No one was wearing masks,” UGA student Caroline Croucher said.

Croucher told Regan that she went to the bars in Athens with friends a couple of weeks ago. Days later, she got sick, got tested for COVID-19 and received some bad news.

“It was positive, unfortunately,” Croucher said.

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Croucher said in no time at all, seven other friends out that night got sick with COVID-19. Though none of them were hospitalized, they all became very sick.

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

Over the weekend, the UGA Health Center reported 143 members of the university community, students and employees, tested positive for the virus.

In all of Clarke County, the numbers are now approaching 500 cases with 15 deaths.

The county health department couldn’t say how much these numbers have grown in the past two weeks.

Croucher told Regan that she's still in quarantine and has no plans to visit a bar in Athens anytime soon.

“It’s not just yourself. It’s bigger than yourself. If we want a better tomorrow we need to be smart today,” Croucher said.

Croucher said at the bars she went to, all employees were wearing masks but virtually no patrons were.

States like Florida and Texas have closed bars following an explosion of COVID-19 cases, but that hasn’t happened in Georgia.

UGA said it will strongly encourage students to wear masks on campus when classes resume, but at this point it is not requiring them.

More than 500,000 people worldwide have died from the coronavirus. Here in the U.S., 36 states have reported new case increases over the weekend, including Georgia.

Gwinnett County surged, with more than 7,000 confirmed cases.

Since May 15, Gwinnett has been the local county with the most daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases.