Off-campus gatherings cause COVID-19 complications among notable universities


Since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, the University of Alabama has reported over 1,000 COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff.

The transition back to in-person classes has proved to be problematic for a few notable universities that have chosen this option. Many believe off-campus gatherings are the source of problems encountered.
The University of North Carolina and the University of Notre Dame have both moved to online instruction after suffering a spike in COVID-19 cases shortly after transitioning back to campus. Both universities cite large off-campus gatherings as the source of these virus outbreaks.
Since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, the University of Alabama has reported over 1,000 COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff. According to a University of Alabama System press release, they do not believe that in-person classes were the cause of this infection spike.
“Our exposure notification efforts have revealed no evidence of virus transmission due to in-person class instruction. We remain satisfied that the precautions implemented prior to the resumption of classes – including masking, distancing, and a blend of in-person and remote instruction – are appropriate and effective,” said Dr. Ricky Friend, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at UA.
Realizing that off-campus gatherings were their biggest risk for infection, UA Chancellor Finis St. John asked the city of Tuscaloosa to close bars for two weeks.
“We remain concerned that off-campus transmission is our greatest risk, which is why we asked Mayor Maddox to consider that action. We thank him for making that difficult decision to protect our campus community and Tuscaloosa,” John said.
John made it clear in his statements that every student has the option of moving to fully online instruction at any point during the semester. UA will continue in-person instruction for the time being. “We are closely monitoring our data daily, and we will continue to adjust operations as the situation warrants,” John said.
West Texas A&M University has reported 12 cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty, and staff during the first week of in-person instruction. WTAMU has a webpage dedicated to bringing COVID-19 updates as it relates to the university. This includes weekly COVID-19 case reports among students, faculty, and staff. It also includes the university’s expectations of students’ individual responsibilities.
“Student Government will support the institution and urge students to comply with federal, state, local, and The Texas A&M University System safety recommendations, but will continue to support our fellow Buff’s in accessing their basic human and constitutional rights. Student Government will encourage each individual to accept personal responsibility and accountability on the premise of noble citizenship by recognizing, and practicing, the provided safety recommendations,” said Walter Wendler, president of WTAMU.
For more WTAMU COVID-19 updates you can visit