University Of Alabama Reports Over 500 COVID-19 Cases In One Week
On Monday, the University of Alabama reported a total of 531 confirmed coronavirus cases between students, faculty and staff on the Tuscaloosa campus since the school reopened on August 19, according to AL.com.
- The school’s “dashboard did not include how many were tested Aug. 19 through Aug. 23 or the rate of positive tests,” the news outlet reported.
- “The cumulative figure includes positive tests on UA System campuses identified through sentinel testing, point of care testing in campus health centers, and self-reported tests from private providers,” the dashboard indicates, adding that “Entry testing is not included in this calculation.”
- AL.com noted that “previously announced re-entry testing for students yielded a less-than 1 percent positivity rate. The new dashboard put the positive test rate for reentry at 1.04 percent of the 29,938 tests.”
- UA president Stuart Bell said Monday morning that the school’s “challenge is not the students,” adding: “Our challenge is the virus and there’s a difference, folks.”
“What we have to do is identify where does the virus thrive and where does the virus spread and how can we work together with our students, with our faculty and with our staff to make sure that we minimize those places, those incidents. It’s not student behavior, OK. It’s how do we have protocols so that we make it to where our students can be successful, and we can minimize the impact of the virus.”
- Dr. Ricky Friend, dean of the UA College of Community Health Sciences, said spaces reserved on campus for isolation and quarantine are not at capacity but cautioned that “we are concerned that each day that goes by, there might be more cases.”
- On Monday, the dashboard indicated that 19.78 percent of the isolation space was currently occupied, according to AL.com.
Friend said they were working on getting additional space on top of the 450 beds already in place to isolate and quarantine students either exposed to the virus or have tested positive.
UA vice president for Student Life Myron Pope told student leaders last Friday they were on pace to fill those spaces within the next week and a half, according to audio of the meeting acquired by AL.com.
- The news outlet noted that news of the more than 500 confirmed cases “came six hours after the City of Tuscaloosa announced bars would be closed for the next two weeks and bar service at restaurants must cease.”