The Wheel publishes updates every Saturday about coronavirus spread within the Emory community, the University’s COVID-19 testing strategy and other related information. The Wheel also tracks on campus cases daily, which can be viewed on our homepage.
The University reported 27 cases this week, setting a record weekly total for the second week in a row. Three of these were staff members, with one each at 1599 Clifton Road, the Health Sciences Research Building and the Emory Brain Health Center while the rest were students. Eighteen cases were off campus, two at Longstreet-Means Hall, one at Few Hall, one at the Woodruff Residential Center, one at Clairmont Undergraduate Residential Center and one at Murdy and Elizer Halls at Oxford College.
This week also saw the highest daily increase in cases, with 11 reported Thursday. Executive Director of Emory Student Health Services Sharon Rabinovitz said she expects case numbers to remain high through the end of the semester as the impact of Halloween continues to be felt.
“I wish I could say it in a different way but it’s very concerning,” Rabinovitz said.
Isolation and quarantine over winter break
Students whose isolation or quarantine periods extend past Nov. 25 — the day residence halls close — can choose to stay for the full number of days or sign a form to leave earlier with a parent or guardian. Rabinovitz recommends everyone on campus be especially cautious over the next week to prevent being sent into quarantine close to the end of classes.
“Everyone should self-quarantine as much as possible prior to going home to keep themselves safe,” she said.
Isolation and quarantine will operate as normal throughout winter break.
New testing platform, exit testing
Beginning Nov. 23, Emory will begin using a saliva-based test. While generally more comfortable than the nasal swab, the new method takes 12 to 24 hours to yield results compared to the nasal swab which takes about 20 minutes. Rabinovitz cautioned students to keep this in mind when scheduling their final test of the semester.
“If somebody wants to plan leaving on Wednesday on a flight, … they need to time it such that they go Monday morning and not wait until Tuesday or Wednesday because they won’t get the test back in time,” Rabinovitz said
This is especially important to keep in mind when traveling to a city, state or country with specific requirements for travelers. Many locations require a negative COVID-19 test within a certain number of days before arriving, with some locations even specifying the type of test required.
The nasal swab test that has been provided all semester will be available throughout next week at the Woodruff Physical Education Center and the Emory Conference Center Hotel. At Student Health Services, students can currently receive a test within one to three days of requesting one; however, students should keep in mind that this may change if demand and case numbers increase over the next week.