University of Alabama sees 65% drop in new COVID cases week-over-week
TUSCALOOSA — The University of Alabama System on Friday afternoon released its weekly update with COVID-19 related data from each of its three distinct institutions: the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
The data — covering the seven-day period from Friday, September 4, through Thursday, September 10 — was encouraging for all three universities.
The University of Alabama saw an impressive decline in the amount of new cases compared to last week.
Only 294 students tested positive at UA in the latest period, compared to 846 positives the previous week. This represents a more than 65% drop in new cases week-over-week.
Another tremendous sign at UA is the amount of quarantine/isolation rooms available on-campus. Only 15% of these rooms are occupied (90/593). This is a significant decrease from last week’s occupancy of 40%, a number which was still stable.
Additionally, numbers at UAB and UAH continue to look good. In Birmingham, 27 students tested positive compared to 11 at UAH over the last week.
At UAB, only 3% of isolation rooms are being used (3/100 rooms); at UAH, that number is 10.34% (9/87 rooms).
“I want to thank our students throughout the University of Alabama System for following the temporary protocols to protect everyone’s health and safety,” stated UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “Your efforts are paying off and we greatly appreciate your hard work and sacrifice.”
The data release came hours after Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, visited the University of Alabama for discussions with students, faculty and staff, as well as administrators and officials from the System and UA.
She effusively praised the System and university for their “strong leadership” and return-to-campus efforts as a whole, while urging everyone to continue following COVID-19 guidelines and orders.
“I think if we continue to do what we know works — and remember, you’re here, I’m here, I went out to dinner last night, I go to coffee shops, I’ve stayed in hotels, I’ve been on the road since June, I’ve stayed negative [for COVID]. It is possible to be out and about and protect yourself and protect others,” Birx said. “And I think as we go into the fall season knowing that we have that responsibility — and possibility — I think changes how we think about the fall. Because it comes down to not only governmental leadership, but each of us doing our part and ensuring we’re doing it every day.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn