Tech COVID-19 cases approach 20, campus parking becomes testing center

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency

Since March 23, Tech’s Stamps Health Services has recorded 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the campus community. In addition, Tech has collaborated with federal and state officials to offer a rapid testing site for COVID-19.

“We are proud to put our motto of Progress and Service into action in this way to serve the city, our state and the region,” stated a press release from the Institute.

The new rapid testing site on campus is located at the North Campus Parking Deck, where GTPD has collaborated with the Office of Emergency Services and CVS Health to offer COVID-19 testing for at-risk individuals. 

This location was chosen in order to provide an area for testing and waiting for results while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Because campus has transitioned to an online-only format for the remainder of the spring semester as well as the summer semester, Tech expects no resulting congestion in this area.

More information can be found at cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.  

The testing serves all Georgia residents, but COVID-19 has also impacted both students and staff of Tech. Out of the 19 confirmed cases, 12 are students while the remaining seven are staff members. 

The cases are being updated daily at noon on health.gatech.edu/coronavirus/health-alerts.

According to the health alerts page, Stamps Health Services states that while they “understand the concerns and fear around COVID-19, it is important to remember that the risk of exposure remains low.”

For many of the students affected, their symptoms began after they left campus for spring break. Most of these students have not returned to campus, and as a result, there is no impact on campus. 

On-campus Greek housing has been impacted by some of these cases. One alert states that after learning that a student living in a Greek house tested positive, “the affected house was closed immediately upon notification and remains closed indefinitely.” 

After traveling for spring break and beginning to feel ill, one student returned to his fraternity house. Once he received confirmation that he had COVID-19, he and his housemates began to isolate in separate rooms in the house.

A third house was affected when a “staff member had limited contact with those moving out of the sorority house last week. Sorority members are being notified and no one else remains in the residence with the staff member.”

Any students, staff or faculty who have tested positive for COVID-19 are advised to immediately contact Stamps Health Services and self isolate for at least 14 days.