More than 1,000 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at the University of Alabama (UA) since classes began at the school earlier this month.
According to a university dashboard, 1,043 students tested positive for the virus between Aug. 19 and Aug. 27. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 1,201 students have tested positive. The school represents one of the largest coronavirus clusters reported at any college or university in the country since the start of the fall semester.
The dashboard shows that nine faculty members have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 19, the day classes officially began.
The University of Alabama System confirmed 10 cases among students at its Huntsville location and its Birmingham location since Aug. 19.
The university system said in a Friday statement that no students who have tested positive for the virus have been hospitalized.
“Our exposure notification efforts have revealed no evidence of virus transmission due to in-person class instruction. We remain satisfied that the precautions implemented prior to the resumption of classes – including masking, distancing, and a blend of in-person and remote instruction – are appropriate and effective,” Ricky Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at UA, said in the Friday statement.
University officials also called on students to practice social distancing, frequently wash their hands, wear masks or face coverings, and take other health precautions.
University of Alabama President Stuart Bell on Monday called the spike in COVID-19 cases on campus “unacceptable.”
“Make no mistake, this trend is a real threat to our ability to complete the semester on campus. The solution is proven: testing, mask wearing, social distancing, personal hygiene and compliance with crowd size limits are all that are asked as we work together to complete the semester together,” Bell said.
Colleges and universities across the U.S. have grappled with returning to classes, with schools adopting a slate of in-person, virtual and hybrid models.