University of Alabama Updates Coronavirus Testing

The spread of coronavirus at the University of Alabama appeared to be slowing, a UA administrator said Wednesday.

"The numbers we're seeing the past 5 or 6 days are very encouraging. The number of daily positives, the number of active cases, the number of students quarantined in isolation spaces continue to fall," Dr. Richard Friend said. Friend, dean of UA's College of Community Health Sciences, said the University is testing through four methods: Testing symptomatic or exposed students at Coleman Coliseum, testing symptomatic or exposed faculty and staff at University Medical Center, on-site testing of areas and groups identified for possible exposure through contact tracing, and sentinel testing of student, faculty, and staff."

Isolation rooms are less than 25 percent occupied, Friend said. Friend added that he spoke with students completing their time in isolation, and received positive feedback about the University's handling of the situation. He says staffing and medical resources have been enhanced to serve students in quarantine and isolation, to ensure prompt communication and expanded services. Daily wellness checks are performed on each student, Friend said.

Friend expressed optimism about the trajectory of the pandemic on campus. "I remain cautiously optimistic we can continue to reverse these trends, and with the full commitment of our students, there is a viable path for us to complete the semester on campus."

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