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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

COVID-19 cases jump as students return to Macon campus, classes begin

Over 70 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Mercer University’s Macon campus this week according to the weekly testing summary. The number has nearly doubled each week since students began moving back on campus.

The week freshmen moved in for Bear Beginnings, August 13-19, the Macon campus reported 18 positive cases. The next week, which was the first week of class, there were 29.

This week, 71 students and 5 faculty members tested positive on the Macon campus. One Macon graduate student is hospitalized, according to the university's report.

An accurate positive test rate for the Macon campus is unable to be calculated, as Mercer does not break down the number of tests administered on each campus. Only a total number of tests across all campuses is provided, which was 945 this week.

Mercer is currently requiring surveillance testing of all unvaccinated students, faculty and staff, and masks are required for members of the Mercer community who are unvaccinated.

According to an email from University President Bill Underwood, “more than 81%” of students have completed or begun the process of being fully vaccinated. However, the university failed to provide information that makes that metric significant. Neither a campus-by-campus breakdown nor the total number of students on each campus was provided.

The Cluster reached out to the Provost’s office to request more in-depth vaccine data for each campus, but the office declined to provide any new information.

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment with Mercer Medicine, visit the scheduling website.

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.


Mary Helene Hall

Mary Helene Hall is a junior majoring in journalism. She is a Presidential Media Change Maker Scholar who has worked consistently for The Cluster throughout her time at Mercer. Mary Helene has received accolades for her work from National Public Radio, Discord, the Georgia College Press Association, and more. When she’s not working on a story, you can catch her reading a good book or enjoying the outdoors on Mercer’s campus.


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