More than 1,000 students at the University of Alabama have tested positive for Covid-19 since classes resumed on the Tuscaloosa campus less than two weeks ago, according to the University of Alabama System.
The UA System coronavirus dashboard notes another 158 cases were recorded on campus over the course of the year prior to August 18, bringing the total to 1,201 cases. Classes resumed August 19.
UA in Tuscaloosa has by far the most students who have tested positive for Covid-19 among the three campuses that make up the University of Alabama System. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has confirmed 157 cases among students this year, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has reported 10, per the dashboard.
No positive students have been hospitalized as a result of Covid-19, the UA System said in a news release Friday.
“Our exposure notification efforts have revealed no evidence of virus transmission due to in-person class instruction,” said Dr. Ricky Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at UA.
“We remain satisfied that the precautions implemented prior to the resumption of classes — including masking, distancing, and a blend of in-person and remote instruction — are appropriate and effective,” he said.
To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, UA President Stuart Bell urged the community in a Wednesday letter to wear masks and social distance, both on and off campus.
“At this critical time, we must be united and fully committed in our fight against COVID-19,” Bell said. “I believe we will be successful this semester, and we all want to remain on campus throughout this fall, but we can only do so with your daily assistance.”
Bell had previously called the rise in cases “unacceptable” and told students and faculty that university police and Tuscaloosa police will monitor restaurants, off-campus residences and Greek housing to ensure patrons and residents follow coronavirus safety guidelines. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on Monday also ordered all bars in the city to close for two weeks due to the rise in cases.