University of Alabama has over 500 covid cases, Auburn University has over 200

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Now that colleges are open again for in-person instruction, the covid cases are adding up. The most shocking numbers are coming out of the University of Alabama with over 500 confirmed cases. Check out the Instagram post above, I’m assuming they have more testing than other colleges and that’s why they’re getting more positive cases. Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama has over 200. The University of Missouri has almost 160. There are more and these are just the schools we’re hearing out which have widespread testing and reporting. Other schools, like NC State, are identifying multiple clusters centered around housing. It’s only been a few days since most schools opened, with UNC Chapel Hill being one of the first to open and inevitably have outbreaks. They’ve since gone online only, as have several other colleges. There are now reported cases in just about every school that has students on campus. Other universities are handing out suspensions to students who break the rules, but that may be too little too late. Covid is spreading no matter what precautions and rules schools have. The Washington Post has a good overview of this and I also recommend checking The Chronicle of Higher Education’s coronavirus tracking article, which is updated frequently:

More than 500 cases at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Nearly 160 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Dozens at the University of Southern California.

Colleges and universities that brought students back to campus are expressing alarm about coronavirus infections emerging as classes have barely started, raising the possibility everyone could be sent home.

“The rise we’ve seen in recent days is unacceptable, and if unchecked, threatens our ability to complete the rest of the semester on campus,” University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said at a news conference on Monday, five days after classes resumed, as the mayor of Tuscaloosa temporarily closed bars and warned that the local health system could become overwhelmed.

While a growing number of schools have backed off reopening, opting instead for online classes, others are hoping a host of new rules and adaptations can keep the coronavirus at bay. They are requiring masks, mandating testing and threatening students and campus groups with penalties for partying. Ohio State University said this week that it had suspended 228 students for virus-related violations.

Despite the precautions, schools are quickly discovering large outbreaks that have prompted new soul-searching about students’ commitment to social distancing and universities’ ability to deliver even a dramatically transformed on-campus experience. Speaking Monday, Bell declined to blame young people’s lack of caution and emphasized that it is up to the university to work with everyone to minimize infections.

“Our challenge is not the students,” Bell said, though he acknowledged that multiple students are facing discipline for breaking coronavirus rules. “Our challenge is the virus.”

[From The Washington Post]

I want to emphasize that last statement from U of Alabama President Stuart Bell, “Our challenge is not the students, our challenge is the virus.” That’s what we were talking about earlier in the week when I covered that editorial saying that blaming the students is unfair. I’ve been checking out the Instagram accounts for some of these colleges and they’re trying so hard to educate students about the virus, to create social distancing reminders, to test, disinfect and make mask-wearing mandatory. This is not easy, everyone has good intentions and most students are adhering to the rules, but it really doesn’t matter. Nothing is perfect and this virus is going to spread. It’s frustrating, it’s creating a situation where young people are getting robbed of experiences and worse than that many are suffering in their current living situations. The only thing we can do is stay home and wear a mask when we go out.

— Michael Sorrell (@michaelsorrell) August 21, 2020

#TodayAtUA, students participated in Ripple Effect – our annual day of service! This event gives students a hands-on experience in making a difference in the Tuscaloosa community! Thank you to all of our awesome students who participated! ❤️ #UAWOW2020

#ICYMI The fall 2021 application for admissions is open and we have joined the @commonapp system! With standardized testing sites continuing to be limited amid the ongoing global pandemic, #Auburn is also implementing some modifications to our existing admissions procedures for the fall 2021 semester. #WarEagle <Visit Auburn.edu for more info!>

A post shared by USC (@uscedu) on

While surely different from years before, #Mizzou kept that #MizzouMade spirit as we welcomed new and returning @mizzou.reslife Tigers to campus! Leadership and staff ensured our Tigers' safety as they entered their new homes before saying their farewells to parents and families. Move-in continues for the next week. We can't wait to welcome the remainder of the MU community home! #TigersSupportTigers

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