For Immediate Release
Today the University of Alabama System launched a COVID-19 dashboard that will be updated weekly with testing results for students, faculty, and staff on the three UA System campuses: The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
According to spokeswoman Kellee Reinhart, data for faculty and staff will launch tomorrow on the same site.
Testing data posted today summarizes entry results for UA System students through August 23 and additional testing for those who tested negative prior to entry but sought additional testing because they became symptomatic or exposed to someone who was COVID-positive.
“Our goal from the outset of the pandemic has been to develop a comprehensive health and safety plan that would enable our students, faculty, and staff to return to on-campus operations for the fall semester,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “Entry testing was our first priority. The statewide GuideSafe program, which was made possible by Governor Ivey through CARES Act funding, enabled our team to test all students. The new System dashboard reports the initial results, which have an aggregated positive percentage Systemwide of less than 1%.”
Dr. Selwyn Vickers, Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB and co-chair of the UA System Health and Safety Task Force, discussed the results that led UA campus leadership to impose more stringent restrictions on campus gatherings, which were announced August 21.
Dr. Vickers said: “We are pleased with the initial data released today that reflects the entry testing of our students. However, over the past week, due to student behavior, we have seen a spike in the number of students who have sought re-testing because they became symptomatic or were exposed to a COVID-positive individual. That trend prompted the decision to take further steps to reduce the chance that the COVID- 19 virus will escalate dramatically.”
In addition to tomorrow’s updated data about faculty and staff test results, the UA System will continue to update the dashboard weekly.