Tuscaloosa takes additional steps to slow spread of COVID-19 on Alabama campus
A recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases at the University of Alabama has caused the city of Tuscaloosa to close bars for two weeks and bar service at restaurants will be suspended, Mayor Walt Maddox announced on Monday.
The new orders begin at 5 p.m. Monday and run through Sept. 8.
The mayor said he will be making a request to the Alabama Beverage Control Board to suspend walk-up alcohol sales, AL.com reported. Only customers seated at tables can be sold alcohol, under these new orders.
“The truth is, fall in Tuscaloosa is in serious jeopardy,” Maddox said during a joint news conference with officials from the University held Monday at the Manderson Landing boathouse, according to the Tuscaloosa News. “As mayor, my first responsibility is to protect the health, safety and welfare of this community and of every person that is living here, studying here or working here.”
The executive order comes after UA officials using contact tracing for students said they have identified hot spots on campus and around the city. The university is also limiting students’ activities on campus to address those hot spots.
“The rising COVID cases we have seen in recent days is unacceptable and if unchecked threatens our ability to complete the semester on campus,” UA President Stuart Bell said. “I think as we began this year, we had very robust testing, so we know that our students that showed up here all tested negative. What we have seen is an increase in those numbers. What we are trying to do now, certainly with our general student body, is flatten that (growth) curve.”
This action is tough but necessary. Two weeks of pain certainly beats 3-4 months of total misery should campus be completely closed. The @chambertusc is working closely with Mayor @WaltMaddox and @tuscaloosacity officials on strategies to mitigate business impact. https://t.co/vkKwBrd8s3
— Jim Page (@jimpagejr) August 24, 2020