Tuscaloosa allowing bars to reopen after pandemic shutdown

The city of Tuscaloosa is easing pandemic restrictions by allowing bars popular with University of Alabama students to reopen with limits.

Posted: Sep 8, 2020 1:57 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The city of Tuscaloosa eased pandemic restrictions and began allowing bars to reopen with limits Tuesday, days after the University of Alabama reported nearly 850 new cases of the coronavirus, which has affected more than 2,000 students at the school.

The change followed complaints from bar owners that a two-week shutdown, meant to stem the spread of the illness on campus, was unfair and hurting business. But critics charged that allowing bars to reopen after the closure would make it easier for the new coronavirus to infect people.

School and city officials said the university appears to be headed in the right direction in combating the virus despite reporting 846 new cases Friday. That equaled 121 new cases daily from Aug. 28-Sept. 3 as opposed to more 160 new cases reported each day from Aug. 25-27.

"Although far from over, this positive trend provides an opportunity for a limited reopening of bars which have sacrificed a great deal to protect our healthcare system and economy,” Mayor Walt Maddox said in a statement announcing the reopening.

Bars, including those popular with students in an area near campus called “The Strip,” will be subject to capacity limitations. Also, patrons can be served only when they are seated, and curb parking along The Strip will be blocked at night to allow more space for people waiting to get in bars.

Some bars tried to lure patrons by announcing the reopening on social media with drink specials and games.

Public health officials are worried about an uptick in cases in Alabama that began after public schools, colleges and high school football games all resumed last month.

More than 133,000 people have tested positive for the illness in the state, and more than 2,200 have died. There were about 333 new cases per 100,000 people in Alabama over the past two weeks, which ranks fourth nationally, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

While the virus causes only mild to moderate symptoms for most people, it can be deadly to the elderly and people with other health problems.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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