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July 29, 2020 - \Georgia Southern University is putting a new resource in the hands of students, faculty and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure the safety of the University community.

The University recently launched a new reporting center called CARES, which stands for COVID-19 Answers Resources Evaluation and Self-reporting. It is designed to be a central portal through which the University community can self-report a confirmed or suspected positive COVID-19 diagnosis, or submit questions or issues. The benefit to this tool is that a team of trained staff will follow up as necessary.

“Providing our students, faculty and staff with this robust center, which is an invaluable addition to the long list of precautions and preventive measures we are taking to keep our university community safe, is critically important to ensuring our community is supported during this pandemic,” said Georgia Southern president Kyle Marrero. “We are providing this center to streamline communications and mitigate the spread of the virus on our campuses and I am so appreciative to our team here for developing this self-reporting tool.”

The University community can use the Georgia Southern mobile app, website, internal portal, email or phone to contact the CARES Center for answers to their COVID-19-related questions, self-report test results and symptoms, obtain an evaluation of their situation and resources for their COVID-19-related academic and employment needs.

The CARES Center is being staffed by University leadership and representatives from human resources, academic affairs, student affairs and IT services. The CARES team is trained to mobilize once the center has been contacted.

The CARES Center will also include team members who will perform contact notification to help notify campus community members who likely had close contact with a person with self-reported positive test results. Unlike contact tracing, which is performed by the Department of Public Health, contact notification helps the University quickly communicate to affected faculty, staff, and/or students to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

Testing and tracking positive cases of COVID-19 remain important parts of keeping our community safe. Georgia Southern’s Student Health Services office is ramping up its capabilities to be able to test symptomatic students for COVID-19 this fall. The Student Health Services offices on both the Armstrong and the Statesboro campuses will have the ability to test symptomatic students who present to them for care. Standard billing practices apply.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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