From The Tribune staff reports
TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama System added 872 new positive coronavirus cases this week but remain confident in the safety measures put in place on campuses.
“The data across the System’s three campuses shows that the UA System Health & Safety Plan is working,” said Dr. Richard Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama.
Friend said that despite the rise in positive cases, there is no evidence that any viral transmission is occurring. There have been no reports of students being hospitalized due to the virus.
This week The University of Alabama reported 846 student positives, which represents a decline in daily averages since the last report. Yesterday, September 3, student positives had dropped to 65 for the day. Tuscaloosa accounted for 820 of the positives. UAB had only 19 student positives this week and UAH had seven student positives.
“We expected higher testing numbers at UA until the impact of the bar closures and the moratorium on campus social events could make a difference,” Dr. Friend said. “We are starting to see the results of those decisions.”
Across the UA System, isolation capacity remains strong, with UA stabilizing under 40%, UAB at 4%, and UAH at 12.9%. As outlined in the Health & Safety plans, additional space will be brought on- line if needed. Vacancy rates in isolation facilities are expected to increase as students who have completed the isolation protocol are cleared to return to their regular housing.
Among faculty and staff, numbers remain low, with only 19 faculty and staff in the System testing positive, excluding UAB’s clinical enterprise personnel. The low numbers of faculty and staff positives are reinforced by the fact that there is no evidence of COVID transmission in the classroom setting.