Auburn University announced on Tuesday that 58 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Auburn’s campus for the week prior to the start of the spring semester.
The 58 new coronavirus cases mark the highest in a week on Auburn’s campus since early September 2020.
All reported cases came from Auburn University’s main campus during the week of Jan. 4–10. Sentinel testing for the spring semester is not yet available.
Dr. Fred Kam, director of the AU Medical Clinic, in his weekly update video continued to stress the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and limiting social gatherings.
Some individuals on Auburn's campus may soon be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from the University, Kam said.
“We are starting the process of vaccinating people within the Auburn campus community, and we will start the mass vaccinations beginning Wednesday of this week and right through until we have given out every dose,” Kam said.
The University received a shipment of 3,500 doses of the vaccine from the state on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Kam said they started vaccinating essential clinical personnel that afternoon and continued doing so throughout the week. Vaccine distribution remains available only for those who are high-risk, but individuals can request a vaccine on the University's website.
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All 3,500 doses received last week will be administered as a first dose, as Kam said they have received assurance that they will receive enough vaccines in the future for individuals to receive a second dose.
“I encourage you to get the vaccine whenever and wherever you can get it, whether it’s at Auburn or off Auburn’s campus," Kam said, as long as it is through a reputable source.
Kam addressed concerns he had heard about vaccine scams, and noted that vaccines from any provider should be free of charge, including from the University. Some locations may charge a small administration fee, though, but Auburn will not.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases off campus has also been rising in recent weeks. According to the coronavirus resource BamaTracker, Lee County's seven-day average of new cases is at its highest point during all of the pandemic.
COVID hospitalizations and ventilator usage at East Alabama Medical Center are also continuing to rise from their levels in the fall.
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