TUSCALOOSA Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama students have now returned on campus to start off the spring semester amid rising COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant.
School leaders say the campus’s COVID-19 team has helped keep transmission relatively low and that is what they are hoping continues into the spring.
Starting off the semester, the university will also require masks to be worn in the classroom due to the anticipated increase of cases. Right now, they are encouraging only students with symptoms to get tested due to the limited supply.
“We probably have more than the vast majority of people but we are experiencing shortages from our suppliers as well. We have both the rapid tests and the PCR testing and all of those testing supplies across the country are really in high demand and short supply,” UA Dean of the College of Community Health Dr. Richard Friend said.
Dr. Friend says the university still offers multiple isolation and quarantine beds on campus. Officials are encouraging students to go home if it’s safe for the isolation period due to the limited number of beds available.
The university also says they will do their best to keep students in the classroom and not revert to remote learning, but they are prepared to do so if need be.