Georgetown U. reports highest COVID-19 positivity rate since pandemic began

Georgetown University saw its largest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases, with 34 members of the community testing positive, school health officials said Wednesday.

That brings the week-to-date positivity rate on campus to 2.36%, the highest it has been since the pandemic began, according to the university.

The spike comes on the heels of a confirmed case of the omicron variant among the school’s community. The university then implemented a requirement that all community members who are eligible to receive a booster shot do so by Jan. 21. The requirement also applies to those who telework.

George Washington University announced a similar requirement on Monday.

The high positivity rate has prompted the university to implement a number of changes on campus in order to reduce the possibility of infections.

On-campus dining will be transitioned to a grab-and-go model, and students are being told to eat their meals in their private residences. Food and drink consumption will not be allowed in indoor communal spaces, and students are being encouraged to use the outdoor tents if eating on campus.

All indoor events will either be shifted outdoors or canceled outright. This includes campus holiday parties.

Students are being asked to keep 6 feet apart while in libraries and study spaces on campus. Classrooms that are not being used for final exams will be available for use as study spaces. Masks are required at all times when in the library or a study space, according to the university.

Yates Field House and the Scott K. Ginsburg Sport & Fitness Center will be closed until further notice starting Dec. 16.

Dr. Ranit Mishori, the chief public health officer for the university, said she recognizes the disruptions come at a particularly bad time of year for students.

“I recognize this news is distressing, especially during the final exam period and ahead of holiday travel and gatherings. I urge all community members to use the Every Hoya Cares website to connect with mental and emotional health and well-being resources, should you need them,” Mishori said in a statement. “I am confident that we will continue to come together to protect one another and care for each other during this difficult time.”

Students are asked to get tested for COVID-19 before traveling for winter break, or to get tested as soon as they arrive at their destination. Those who receive a positive test result from an external testing site should email the results to covidcarenavigator@georgetown.edu.


More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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