The University of Alabama returned to in-person and online classes on August 19. Already 566 students, faculty, and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.
The University of Alabama has more than 35,000 students enrolled in its undergraduate and graduate programs at three locations. These locations include Huntsville, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa. The main campus, being in Tuscaloosa, reported 94 percent of the total cases for the University.
Re-entry testing will take place before students may return to campus. The University reported only 1 percent of the student body testing positive. The new 566 cases do not include the 1 percent of positive cases from the re-entry process.
The City of Tuscaloosa’s responded quickly. They reported the closing of bars for the next two weeks, and restaurants must pause bar service as well.
The University of Alabama President Stuart Bell spoke Monday morning, saying, “Our challenge is not the students. 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.”
AU Healthcheck requires students to report symptoms every three days but recommends completing it daily. The University of Alabama has also introduced four-course delivery styles to help flatten the curve of student exposure. These styles offered are face-to-face classes implementing social distancing between students and masks, hybrid courses, online courses featuring Zoom calls, and internet courses.
[H/T ABC 6]