Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced on March 23 that Georgia will expand vaccine eligibility to all individuals aged 16 and older beginning March 25.

There are now separate methods for students and for faculty and staff to attest to their eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine under Georgia’s guidelines. Students can now complete the self-attestation form, consent to the vaccine and schedule an appointment through a system similar to the one used to schedule screening tests, found on the Emory Forward website.

Emory faculty and staff should consent to the vaccine through their Employee Health Portal.

Kemp’s announcement means that all Emory students, faculty and staff will be eligible to complete their respective attestation and consent process as of March 25.

Students, staff or faculty who require transportation to the vaccine clinic at Northlake Mall can schedule a shuttle appointment.

Preparing for a return to campus

Emory College announced that it aims to hold about 70% of classes in person in fall 2021, with some classes held “fully online” or in a “hybrid/blended learning” format, according to a March 17 email from the Office for Undergraduate Education.

It has not been determined which courses will be held in person, but will likely be “based on the number of facilities we have on campus, the number of spaces and how many students we can hold in those spaces,” Associate Vice President and Executive Director of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Amir St. Clair said.

“How much you’re on campus and how much you might be remote, that’s really largely set by the parameters of the school, and even the individual courses, depending on what their learning outcomes are,” St. Clair continued.

With the expansion of in-person classes, St. Clair explained that COVID-19 screening tests will likely continue in the fall, although testing frequency will depend on “what the ecosystem and the environment looks like at that point in time.”

More fall semester housing information is expected to be released this week, St. Clair said.

Operating conditions on campus in the fall will rely largely on how much of the Emory population is vaccinated by next semester, Executive Director of Emory Student Health Services Sharon Rabinovitz said.

“It looks like many people will have access over the next several months, and I think that’s the foundation of everything that we do in the fall, as far as safely bringing people back on campus, whether it’s in housing, dining, facilities and in the classroom,” Rabinovitz said.

Latest cases

Emory reported 56 new cases since March 18, including 48 students and eight staff members.

Off-campus students comprised at least 27 cases. Raoul Hall, Clairmont Residential Center, Woodruff Residential Center, Few Hall, Longstreet-Means Hall and Complex Hall all reported multiple cases.

There are 29 students in isolation and eight students in quarantine on campus as of March 25.  

Student cases have fluctuated daily over the past two weeks. After climbing to 12 cases on March 17, numbers dropped into the single digits until March 20, when 16 students tested positive. There were no new cases on March 21 and 22, but the number has risen again to 10 cases on March 23 and 11 on March 24.

Faculty and staff cases have remained consistently low throughout the semester.

Correction (3/29/2021 at 10:53 a.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that there have been 58 new cases of COVID-19, including 48 students and six staff members, since March 18, as of the day of publishment. The story has been updated to include the correct number of 56 cases of COVID-19, including 48 students and  eight staff members. 

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Madison Hopkins (23C) is a quantitative sciences and creative writing major from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is interested in pursuing biology research and volunteers as an assistant in the Gerardo lab at Emory. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing fantasy and science fiction.