The COVID Report with David Blake: The epidemiologists summarize

Tuesday, Sep. 22

Today, a summary article from a multinational group of epidemiologists will be my topic.  The paper covers the coronavirus transmission and how they feel it should be informing policy. The authors are among the most respected epidemiologists in the world.

Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: The epidemiologists summarize”

The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 1

Staff report |

Join Bell Ringer Sports Editor Carlos Rodriguez for the first episode of The Sports Squad in Season No. 3. Special guest is Chad Cook, whose blog site AugBball.com covers sports in the CSRA. The Squad discusses the upcoming (and limited) fall sports season at Augusta University, as well as Patrick Reed, AU hoops, college football and other sports news items.

The Sports Squad S3, E1 (<– Click here)

Opinion: Where the U.S. Constitution stands in 2020

Constitution Day sentiments at Augusta University. (staff photo)

By Rakiyah Lenon |
Staff writer

The year 2020 has proven itself as a year that will not be forgotten. Although this year has not yet concluded, it has already made a mark on history as we know it. Reflecting on how it has influenced the direction of our nation, the amount of change we have witnessed as a country has been substantial. Continue reading “Opinion: Where the U.S. Constitution stands in 2020”

Rains from Hurricane Sally affect Augusta University

Drivers navigate Harper Street by the Emergency Room near downtown Augusta during the flooding on Sept. 17. AU suspended shuttle service for a part of the day. (photo courtesy of Janice DeLoach)

By Thalia Rodriguez |
Staff writer 

The remnants of Hurricane Sally hit Augusta early on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 17. Though a flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service, the Augusta University community were surprised when they attended classes Thursday morning. Continue reading “Rains from Hurricane Sally affect Augusta University”

Sports roundup: AU men’s golf will have two fall tourneys

Former AU standout and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed had a hole-in-one during the first round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. (photo by AU Athletics)

By Staff report |

There will only be two Augusta University sports in action during the fall season. These include men’s golf and both cross-country teams. Continue reading “Sports roundup: AU men’s golf will have two fall tourneys”

Opinion: Our freedom written

By Haley Knight |
Editor in chief 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

These famous words have shaped our nation to become one of the greats. Our forefathers aimed to appease those who wish for a stronger federal government and those who sought more freedom at the state level. Continue reading “Opinion: Our freedom written”

BIPOC mental health matters

A group of people standing in front of a screen

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Multicultural Wellness Wednesday, Licensed Professional Counselor and Outreach Coordinator Adebayo Onabule gives a presentation (photo by Madeline Burgin)

By Madeline Burgin |
Staff writer
 

During Multicultural Wellness Wednesday, Licensed Professional Counselor and Outreach Coordinator Adebayo Onabule gives a presentation to Augusta University (AU) students explaining why BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) mental health matters. Continue reading “BIPOC mental health matters”

Augusta movie theaters reopen amidst growing COVID concerns

Movie complexes in the CSRA like Evans Stadium Cinemas have reopened in recent weeks with mask and social-distancing policies in place. (photo by Justin Little)

By Justin Little |
Staff writer

Augusta Exchange’s Regal Cinemas opened its doors on Aug. 21 for the first time in nearly five months. 

Continue reading “Augusta movie theaters reopen amidst growing COVID concerns”

Georgia facing poll worker shortage

Here are statistics about poll workers on a flyer by Noah Goldstein.

By Haley Knight |
Editor in chief

Georgia, along with many other states, is facing a poll worker shortage for the upcoming elections.

Continue reading “Georgia facing poll worker shortage”

The COVID Report with David Blake: What is aerosol transmission?

Wednesday, Sept. 9

The word for today is “aerosol.” An aerosol is a suspension of droplets in air. In this case, of course, we are talking about small droplets, or aerosols. Most of the spread of COVID-19 is aerosol transmission, and not fomite, or large droplet. Fomite means surfaces are contaminated. You can have fomite transmission when you touch a fomite surface, and then touch a mucus membrane like your mouth. Large droplets are those respiratory droplets with a range of about six feet before they fall to the ground. Small droplets are aerosols, and there is no range. Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: What is aerosol transmission?”

‘Where the Crawdads Sing,’ a mirror to the isolation blues

Delia Owens’ best-selling books takes a stab at loneliness. (photo by Jenna Ingalls)

By Jenna Ingalls |
Staff writer

Review 

I am a firm believer of reading the book before seeing the movie, so when heard that the beloved “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens was making its way to the big screen, I had to finally get my hands on a copy.  

Continue reading “‘Where the Crawdads Sing,’ a mirror to the isolation blues”

Traveling in during the pandemic

Teddy Roosevelt island in Washington, D.C. (photo by Madison Pierce)

By Madison Pierce |
Staff writer

OPINION 

I have been living in Augusta for six years. The city is mostly safe as far as gang violence, drug use and abuse. During the current world-wide pandemic, I have felt very safe living in Augusta.

Continue reading “Traveling in during the pandemic”

‘An ongoing, egregious misuse of power,’ former dental college faculty come forward about retaliation and racial bias from dental school leadership

Dental College of Georgia from Google Earth (Graphic by Emily Garcia)

By Emily Garcia |
Special to the Bell Ringer

When Dr. Scott De Rossi filed his lawsuit against Augusta University’s dental college in 2016, he said he considered himself to be the seminal grieving party in what he and others called a trend of retaliatory behavior from Dean Carol Lefebvre and other dental college administrators. 

Continue reading “‘An ongoing, egregious misuse of power,’ former dental college faculty come forward about retaliation and racial bias from dental school leadership”

Civic engagement opportunities at AU include pen pals for seniors

Roberto Aragon, coordinator for student involvement and civic engagement, is working to help senior citizens. (photo by Adam Wadding)

By Madeline Burgin |
Staff writer

Roberto Aragon, coordinator for student involvement and civic engagement, has rolled out new volunteer opportunities for Augusta University students, such as the senior citizen pen pals project to get students involved in the community. Continue reading “Civic engagement opportunities at AU include pen pals for seniors”

The latest addition to Augusta’s food scene – Haute Doughnuts

The Galaxy Doughnut, Gluten Free Double Chocolate Doughnut and Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut at Haute Doughnuts. (photo by Grace Adams)

By Grace Adams |
Staff writer

Restaurant Review

Haute Doughnuts is the newest bakery to join the Augusta food scene.  

Continue reading “The latest addition to Augusta’s food scene – Haute Doughnuts”

The COVID Report with David Blake: 18-29 age group sees increase in infections

Thursday, Sept. 3

In my last blog post, we showed how college students in dorms are spiking infection rates in the counties in which they reside. I made a plot of the age demographics of infection in Georgia to show the impact these dorm situations are having on infections. https://aubellringer.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/the-covid-report-with-david-blake-college-outbreaks/#more-9584

Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: 18-29 age group sees increase in infections”

Going Virtual: Keeping Students Engaged with Live-streamed Club Fest

By Jenna Ingalls |
Staff writer

Staying connected and getting involved on campus looks different in the time of COVID-19, but Student Life and Engagement is doing everything they can to get students engaged.  

Continue reading “Going Virtual: Keeping Students Engaged with Live-streamed Club Fest”

The COVID Report with David Blake: College outbreaks

Tuesday, Sept. 1

University System of Georgia colleges are back in town, and COVID is spreading at some of them.

Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: College outbreaks”

Food finds for a college budget: Craft and Vine

By Sam Turner |
Staff writer 

Restaurant review

After attending Augusta University for the past three years, I have made it a goal to explore my own hometown in search of great food and drinks on a college budget.

Continue reading “Food finds for a college budget: Craft and Vine”

Former Jag standout Monteiro signs with Brazilian pro team

Rafael Monteiro finished with more than 1,850 points for his college career. (photo by Carlos Rodriguez)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

Rafael Monteiro, a recent Augusta University graduate and former player on the men’s basketball team, inked a professional contract with the E.C. Pinheiros São Paolo basketball team recently. Continue reading “Former Jag standout Monteiro signs with Brazilian pro team”

Zach Kelehear looks forward to his new role

Zach Kelehear (L) speaks during the 2019 Convocation at Christenberry Fieldhouse. (photo by Mason Winkler)

By Haley Knight |
Editor-in-Chief

Interim Provost Zach Kelehear looks forward to working with President Brooks Keel to continue the work of outgoing Provost Gretchen Caughman while a national search for a permanent provost is being conducted.   

Continue reading “Zach Kelehear looks forward to his new role”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Changed guidance on probable contacts

Friday, Aug. 28

I work in leadership at my church, and when COVID came, we went online. For a few months, I was the layperson at the service, and five of us streamed the service to the web.

One day, one of the people in our service came in, and did not know their teenager had COVID. We were not in close contact, and the next day we were told that we had been in the five-person service with someone who had COVID. What should we do?

The people whose child had COVID were probable contacts, and they should isolate until 14 days after the last probable contact. We, who were at the service, were not probable contacts.

You could say we were second-order contacts. We were in loose contact with someone who was a probable contact. What is the right thing to do?

The answer is nothing. We just monitor for symptoms as we always do.

Now, the parents got tested. If they came back positive, we would also be contacts, and if we were in close proximity to them for 15 minutes or longer, we would be recommended to isolate for 14 days. The parents came back negative, and it was all a big scare.

Why is all this relevant now? The CDC just changed guidance on probable contacts. They recommend isolation, but no longer recommend testing.

The net effect of this change would be for probably contacts who get infected but are asymptomatic.

Now, second order contacts will not become first order contacts unless the first order contact develops symptoms and tests positive.

An asymptomatic is not recommended to go get testing.

In a pandemic in which 30 percent of those infected are both infectious and asymptomatic, the expected result of this change will be a temporary reduction in COVID new cases, and longer term a decrease in our ability to suppress growth of infection.

We will no longer be able to trace the contacts of asymptomatic contacts who are infected.

Infectious disease specialists of all flavors, epidemiologists, doctors, and PhDs, have uniformly criticized the changes, and the CDC has been unable to provide an infectious disease rationale for the change.

Just another day in a pandemic.

Black lives will always matter

OPINION

By Haley Knight |
Editor-in-Chief

When I started this piece, I wanted to express why the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement was important. However, when researching I came to the realization that my voice is not the one that needs to be heard. Instead, I will let the voices of our students tell the story. Continue reading “Black lives will always matter”

Fall break eliminated; Thanksgiving break extended

Screenshot taken of email sent to students.

By Haley Knight |
Editor-in-Chief

Augusta University administration has sent an email stating that students will no longer be receiving fall break in Fall 2020; instead, three days have been added to Thanksgiving break. Continue reading “Fall break eliminated; Thanksgiving break extended”

AU cross-country teams will have a fall sports season

Adam Ward, AU cross-country coach, returns a deep men’s team that finished ninth in the nationals last fall—a team that now will compete in four events. (staff photo)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Peach Belt Conference announced Friday morning, Aug. 21, its decision to allow cross-country, golf and tennis teams to start their seasons this fall. Continue reading “AU cross-country teams will have a fall sports season”

The COVID Report with David Blake: ‘Cases per fatality’

Monday, Aug. 17

We’ve gone over how to measure the percent infected in each state, and Rt. Today I want to go over another measure of testing effectiveness, the measure “cases per fatality,” or the reciprocal of the case fatality ratio.

Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: ‘Cases per fatality’”

Jaguar golf teams’ hopes diminishing for fall play

Jack O’Keefe, AU men’s golf coach, has seen his team’s fall season truncated to just a single tournament. (staff photo)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

In a week when Augustans learned that The Masters would have no patrons in November, similar bad news has come to the Augusta University golf teams. Continue reading “Jaguar golf teams’ hopes diminishing for fall play”

Former interim chief compliance officer speaks about discriminatory behavior, malfeasance at AU

 

Graphic by Emily Garcia

By Emily Garcia |
Special to the Bell Ringer

The lawsuit Dr. Sarah Kavianpour filed in the Northern District of Georgia contends that she received disparate treatment from Augusta University (AU) officials while working as a neurosurgery resident. Continue reading “Former interim chief compliance officer speaks about discriminatory behavior, malfeasance at AU”

Former interim chief of compliance questions validity of drug testing done at AU

By Emily Garcia |
Special to the Bell Ringer

John Lott, former interim chief of compliance at Augusta University (AU) and compliance investigator on Dr. Sarah Kavianpour’s case, explained that AU officials created false pretenses to drug test her monthly and are likely to do it again to others. Continue reading “Former interim chief of compliance questions validity of drug testing done at AU”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Alcorn county, Mississippi

Tuesday, Aug. 11

Corinth MS made the news last week as students began to test positive at school, and other students had to quarantine/isolate as probable contacts. Although it’s been covered before, recall that a probable contact spent 15 minutes or longer sitting within 6 feet of someone who was known to be contagious. Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: Alcorn county, Mississippi”

AU’s freshman enrollment and COVID-19 numbers as of August 5

 

Welcome back sign on Summerville campus. (Photo by Emily Garcia)

By Emily Garcia |
Special to the Bell Ringer

According to Augusta University Vice President of Communication Christen Engel, between July 1 and August 5, 76 students, faculty and employees at AU have reported testing positive since the COVID-19 crisis began. The majority of positive tests are from employees. Continue reading “AU’s freshman enrollment and COVID-19 numbers as of August 5”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Problem with primary, secondary schools is no surveillance testing

Monday, Aug. 10

We are going to do some statistical sampling fun today. Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: Problem with primary, secondary schools is no surveillance testing”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Long-term care and the novel coronavirus

Friday, Aug. 7

Long-term care deaths in COVID-19 are a particular problem. People over age 85 constitute 2 to 3 percent of all cases of COVID-19 and 35 percent of all deaths, and many of them are in nursing homes. Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: Long-term care and the novel coronavirus”

National championships cancelled for Division II fall sports: Augusta XC and VB affected by decision

Jacob Poston led AU to second in the regionals and ninth in the nationals in 2019, but there will be no regional and national competitions this fall. (staff photo)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The NCAA Division II Presidents Council announced on Aug. 5 the cancellation of the seven fall 2020 championships due to COVID-19 Pandemic concerns. This decision affects Augusta University’s volleyball and women’s and men’s cross-country teams. Continue reading “National championships cancelled for Division II fall sports: Augusta XC and VB affected by decision”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Estimating the number of infections

Thursday, Aug. 6

A general problem with this pandemic is estimating the number of infections for a given set of test results. We know we are missing a lot of cases, so how can we estimate that which we missed? Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: Estimating the number of infections”

The COVID Report with David Blake: Inherent risk of transmission and school safety

Wednesday, Aug. 5

Most of the nation, at a state level, has a percentage of people currently infected between 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent. Continue reading “The COVID Report with David Blake: Inherent risk of transmission and school safety”

Zach Kelehear named AU’s interim provost, succeeding Caughman

Zach Kelehear (L) speaks during the 2019 Convocation at Christenberry Fieldhouse. (photo by Mason Winkler)

By Haley Knight |
Editor in chief

Vice Provost for Instruction at Augusta University Zach Kelehear has been named interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs starting Aug. 31. Continue reading “Zach Kelehear named AU’s interim provost, succeeding Caughman”