The University of Alabama has climbed to #1 in the COVID-19 rankings amongst major American universities. Their main campus at Tuscaloosa climbed over the 1,000 mark after only nine days of school, now totaling 1,063. If CNN’s figure of around 8,700 cases currently for all U.S. colleges and universities is correct, then this one campus has about 12% of the known cases on campuses in the country.
The Tuscaloosa campus has some well-deserved notoriety, having made the news months ago for the fad of “COVID” parties – where parties were arranged with at least one known COVID- infected student. The other students would put money into a pot, with the first new case of COVID declared the winner. Such a demented subculture will give a new meaning to their school nickname, the “Crimson Tide.”
In the first six days of school, the campus showed 90/day, while the last three have climbed to 160/day. (These numbers only include the students, as the numbers for the faculty and staff together pale in comparison — nine cases, or one/day.) Assuming an approximate 4-5 day lag time from infection to symptoms to test results, it suggests the uptick happened last weekend. On Monday, all the bars in town were closed, by order of Mayor Walt Maddox. In tandem, the University has issued a moratorium on all in-person events, outside of classes; and has closed all common areas of dormitories, fraternities and sororities. They are hoping that their actions will be reflected in a drop in the new cases — unless the barn door was closed too late.