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As hundreds of students test positive for COVID-19 on large college campuses, many universities have had to roll back their reopening plans for the Fall semester.
At the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, to cite just one example, 550 students, faculty, and staff have tested positive since starting classes on August 19, a figure which does not include the over 400 students who tested positive upon returning to the university's campuses last week.
Although many students have chosen to return home to self-isolate, the university administration assures there is ample amount of space on campus for students to isolate and that it will increase testing of various groups, while the mayor of Tuscaloosa has issued an order to shut down all bars for 14 days, among other measures.
The university isn't the only one scrambling to control COVID-19 outbreaks. The University of Southern California (USC) announced Monday more than 100 students at the University Park Campus in Los Angeles are in 14-day quarantine, after resuming classes almost entirely online August 17.
EPIDEMIC WILDFIRE: University of Alabama reports 531 newly confirmed #COVID19 cases since classes resumed.
➡️Crazier—This even EXCLUDES the 311 cases identified at re-entry testing of 29,000 students/staff. These 531 are NEW cases after campus opened!�� https://t.co/QFzUpGEpxQ
While most of USC's cases were linked to off-campus housing, other universities, such as Ohio State University, have issued more than 200 interim suspensions due to a string of on-campus parties where health and safety rules were largely ignored.
Last week, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill chose to cancel all in-person instruction just one week after resuming classes, due to a dramatic increase in cases, which now total more than 650.
Last week U.S. President Donald Trump urged universities to reopen their campuses for the Fall, despite significant COVID-19 outbreaks reported among students and teachers across the country.