University of Alabama updates coronavirus testing efforts

The University of Alabama campus.
The University of Alabama campus.(WBRC)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 6:59 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The number of positive coronavirus cases at the University of Alabama appears to be dropping according to the Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences.

“The numbers we’re seeing the past 5 or 6 days are very encouraging. The number of daily positives, the number of active cases, the number of students quarantined in isolation spaces continue to fall,” Dr. Richard Friend explained.

Sentinel testing for students at the University of Alabama started Tuesday. They’re coming to Coleman Coliseum so UA can test 3% of the student population each week to track asymptomatic COVID cases on campus. Dr. Friend also said around 150 of the 600 bed spaces needed to house COVID positive students on campus are being used right now.

“We’re having a medical resident check on them at least once a day. We have our folks in student life checking on them regularly from 8 to 5. We’re setting up services so they get telemedicine visits, counseling visits,” he continued.

The school is adding more people to help those students and is upgrading a hotline to answer their questions and respond to their needs. The University remains on guard in case there’s increase in coronavirus cases after the holiday.

“We are prepared for the possibility that in coming days we may experience an uptick in positive cases from the Labor Day weekend.”

The University is well aware that bars in Tuscaloosa reopened Tuesday under more safety guidelines. Dr. Friend said they’ll be closely watching for any transmission trends that could happen from that through the school’s contact tracing program.

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