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: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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