Updated Aug 29, 2020 - Health

University of Alabama reports 1,052 COVID-19 cases since in-person classes began

The school

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The University of Alabama on Friday reported an additional 485 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, bringing the total number cases up to 1,052, according to the university's coronavirus dashboard.

Why it matters: The outbreak underscores concerns from public health experts that in-person classes could cause community spread within school populations. The total reported on Friday does not include the 381 positive tests caught when students, faculty and staff first re-entered campus.

  • The school's coronavirus isolation space was 36% filled as of Friday.

The school has implemented protocols calling for mask wearing, social distancing and limiting large crowd sizes.

  • The University of Alabama coronavirus dashboard notes, "The cumulative figure includes positive tests on UA System campuses identified through sentinel testing, point of care testing in campus health centers, and self-reported tests from private providers."
  • "Fortunately, our isolation occupancy is below capacity, and the number will be adjusted as students complete the isolation period," UA System Chancellor Finis St. John said Friday. "We are closely monitoring our data daily, and we will continue to adjust operations as the situation warrants.”

The big picture: Several universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Notre Dame, have been forced to revert to remote classes after large off-campus gatherings caused a spike in infections.

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