UA reports fifth period of declining COVID-19 cases

This week the University of Alabama system COVID-19 dashboard showed its fifth downward curve in the spread of the virus among UA students, staff and faculty. This week 34 positive cases were reported among students, bringing the total caseload this year to 2,612.

The UA system is still yet to include the number of tests that are being administered to students each week. The Crimson White requested this information in accordance with state of Alabama open records statutes and received a response that there were “no responsive documents” available.

Sentinel testing showed zero positive cases out of the 498 students, faculty and staff who were tested this week. This is an improvement, after four positive cases were reported from sentinel testing last week. But sentinel testing numbers still remain lower than the stated goal of testing 3% of the total UA population that is not displaying any symptoms. 

Isolation space occupancy has risen to 13 spaces in utilization from last week’s five. The University still holds 518 isolation spaces to be used if students need to quarantine themselves after a positive test. 

Faculty and staff testing showed nine positive cases this week, which is one less than last week. This brings the total caseload of faculty and staff positives to 94 since the beginning of the semester. 

In light of the decrease in cases the University has loosened some restrictions. In a message from UA Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope, the University will allow student organizations to throw social events beginning Oct. 19. Certain restrictions will still be in place and masks must be worn. 

“I am proud of the progress we have made and excited to safely restore in-person student events,” Pope said on Thursday. 

In-person events for UA game days are still prohibited at this time. For a complete list of requirements for these events, visit this link.

This weekend the Student Health Center and Pharmacy will be closed Saturday, Oct. 17 but will reopen on Sunday, Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students who are ill. COVID-19 testing will be available for symptomatic students. No drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be held.