BREAKING: Eleven Mercer students, one faculty member test positive for COVID-19

Mercer University announced 12 new cases of the novel coronavirus between its Macon and Atlanta campuses, according to its weekly testing summary published Friday. This is a marginal increase of two cases compared to last week.

Between Oct. 2-8, 10 students on the Macon campus, one faculty or staff member on the Macon campus and one student on the Atlanta campus tested positive for COVID-19.

These 12 positive cases came from a total of 528 completed tests, indicating a positivity rate of 2.272%. 

The positivity rate measures the percentage of individuals who were tested and received a positive result. According to public health experts from Harvard University, a positivity rate between 3-12% indicates adequate testing of a population, while a positivity rate under 3% is considered a goal in curbing the spread of disease. Mercer’s test positivity rate has consistently fallen under 3% in recent weeks.

However, testing fell from 594 tests to 528 tests this week — a decrease of 12%. This week’s number of tests was the lowest since the report released Sept. 4.

Image: Caitlyn Patton

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Mercer has documented 281 total positive cases among students, faculty and staff across all campuses.

Members of the Mercer community are directed to call Mercer Medicine at (478) 301-4111 or the Student Health Center 24/7 hotline at (478) 301-7425 if they begin displaying symptoms. Students who are enrolled in a course in which a student has tested positive will receive an email notifying them of their risk.

Caitlyn Patton contributed reporting.