The University of Alabama’s Tuscaloosa campus is reeling under an outbreak of coronavirus cases that surpasses 1,200 students. The other two campuses that make up the University of Alabama System have far fewer COVID-19-positive students.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has confirmed 157 cases among students this year, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has reported 10, according to the system’s tracking service.
No students have been hospitalized with the virus, according to the university, which is encouraging students to social distance and wear masks, officials said. Classes resumed two weeks ago.
The skyrocketing number of cases is worrisome to those enrolled, some of whom complain the school isn’t doing enough to protect them.
“I have been concerned since the day I found out we were going back to campus. This is just insane. There are schools that have closed because they had 80 cases and we’ve had over 1,000 in a week and we’re still open,” student Carlee Fernandez told AL.com.
The university has consolidated student housing to make room for quarantining students and banned student events.
“Our exposure notification efforts have revealed no evidence of virus transmission due to in-person class instruction,” said Dr. Ricky Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at UA.
“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,” he said.