TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Students at UA now rely on more house parties after Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox issued executive orders closing bars for two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the area.

The decision by the city, in collaboration with the University of Alabama, was announced by Mayor Walt Maddox during a press conference Monday morning. In addition to bars being closed the next 14 days, bar services in restaurants will also be suspended for 14 days.

Maddox and UA officials said that if cases continue to rise, there could be a chance that students would be forced to do virtual learning and DCH Regional Medical Center could be burdened beyond its capacity to treat patients.

Like many cities across Alabama, Tuscaloosa put in additional orders on face masks and a safe capacities for restaurants and bars in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Since April 28, the city has slowly reopened its economy back up through the Reopen Tuscaloosa Plan.

However, the city declared a state of emergency earlier this month due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the area. The restriction ends September 8th.