Less than two weeks after the fall semester kicked off, UA reported an additional 492 students tested positive for the disease between Aug. 25-27; that brings its total of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,063 since classes resumed on Aug. 19. According to The UA System coronavirus dashboard, UA in Tuscaloosa accounts for the majority of UA's coronavirus cases, with 481 tallied as of Thursday. The University of Alabama at Birmingham and and the University of Alabama in Huntsville reported nine and two positive cases between Aug. 25-27, respectively. A total of 51 UA faculty, staff, and clinical enterprise employees tested positive within that same timeframe.
"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 in a Friday press release. "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."
The press releases stated no students have been hospitalized for virus-related issues.
Since the first round of testing confirmed more than 500 positive COVID-19 cases at UA, officials have urged students to adhere to the school's revised safety measures, which, according to the Crimson White, includes a banning visitors from on-campus housing as well as prohibiting the use of common areas.
"These measures, along with the limitations on gatherings on and off campus announced last Friday, are mandatory," UA President Stuart Bell wrote in a recent letter. "Those who ignore them will face significant consequences, including suspension. We will continue to be nimble and proactive in the coming days and weeks ... Thank you in advance for how each of you are continuing to do your part and together we stand ready for the challenges."