Just a week after colleges like UNC-Chapel Hill and Notre Dame decided to switch to remote learning, the president of the University of Alabama has revealed that they have experienced an “unacceptable rise” of COVID-19 cases since returning to campus.
According to reports from CNN, Since Alabama started up classes six days ago, the Tuscaloosa campus has tallied 531 total confirmed cases. Other university locations in Birmingham and Huntsville have a combined 35 positives. This comes after 46,150 tests were issued.
While that might be a low percentage, that’s still a lot of students to get unnecessarily infected with the virus. So, in an effort to avoid the same fate as Notre Dame and UNC, Alabama President Stuart R. Bell asked for students and faculty to team up in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading any further. Instead of pulling the plug on the on-campus learning, Bell has instead urged common remedies like wearing a mask, social distancing, and preventing gatherings from getting too large.
“Completing the fall semester together is our goal,” he said in an email to students on Sunday. “The margin for error is shrinking.”
The university will also have school and city police monitor off-campus residents, restaurants, and Greek housing to ensure that people at those locations are following guidelines.
Plus, in an effort to combat the rise in cases, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox also ordered the city’s bars to shutdown for two weeks.