UA System: Number of positive students nearly doubles in a week at UA in Tuscaloosa

UA System: Number of positive students nearly doubles in a week at UA in Tuscaloosa
University of Alabama System. (Source: uasystem.edu)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The number of positive coronavirus cases in the UA system has jumped more than 1,100 in one week. More than 1000 of those new cases coming out of UA in Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama System now reports 2,240 positive COVID-19 cases among students since testing began August 19, up 1,177 as of August 28.

The breakdown of those cases by university:

UA - 2,047

UAB - 176

UAH - 17

The positive cases are since August 19, 2020 and do not include entry testing.

Officials say none of the COVID positive students at any schools in the system are hospitalized and the overall vacancy for isolation is above 70%.

“Sentinel and for-cause testing following entry testing is a key pillar of our UA System Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan,” UA System Chancellor Finis St. John said today: “We have the most robust testing regimen of any entity in the state, giving us a clear picture of virus spread and informing our decisions. Fortunately, our isolation occupancy is below capacity, and the number will be adjusted as students complete the isolation period. We are closely monitoring our data daily, and we will continue to adjust operations as the situation warrants.”

Dr. Ricky Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at UA, added: “Our exposure notification efforts have revealed no evidence of virus transmission due to in-person class instruction. 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.”

Chancellor St. John also thanked Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and other city officials for making the decision to close bars for two weeks. “We remain concerned that off-campus transmission is our greatest risk, which is why we asked Mayor Maddox to consider that action. We thank him for making that difficult decision to protect our campus community and Tuscaloosa.”

The University of Alabama System launched a COVID-19 dashboard with weekly updated test results for all students, faculty and staff. The three UA System campuses include: The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The UA System will continue to update the dashboard weekly. For more information, visit https://uasystem.edu/covid-19-dashboard

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