Tuscaloosa Closing Down Bars, Restaurant Bar Service for 2 Weeks

Innisfree Masks

The city of Tuscaloosa is shutting down bars and bar service in restaurants for the next two weeks in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 among college students.

University of Alabama President Stuart Bell, UA Collge of Community Health Sciences Dean Dr. Richard Friend and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox hosted a news conference this morning announcing the new rules.

The new rules being implemented as of 5 p.m. today include:

  • Bars will be closed effective for the next 14 days
  • Bar service at restaurants will be eliminated for the next 14 days

In addition, Maddox is requesting from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that all of Tuscaloosa County be placed on a prohibition of on-premises alcohol sales for 14 days.

Maddox said he knows bars and restaurants are being hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions and said he’s looking into ways the city can help with lost revenue.

“We are grateful to the mayor and his team for this partnership and willingness to explore all options that will help us navigate this pandemic and complete a successful fall,” Bell said.

The university is working hard to keep the college experience intact for students, including in-person classes and on-campus living, Bell said.

Although initial re-entry tests were encouraging, COVID-19 numbers among students are rising unacceptably, said Friend. The Greek system in particular has been hit hard by the virus.

“The trend continued throughout the week and now has reached levels that require a significant intervention,” Friend said.

On Friday UA released new on- and off-campus restrictions, including the end of all student gatherings.

This week the university will be testing as many as 1,000 students per day in places where the geographic spread of COVID-19 has been documented. Friend did not release information regarding specific locations.

“We believe we have a limited opportunity to curve the trajectory of student (COVID-19) positivity we are seeing and have validated,” Friend said. “This will allow UA to continue its current in-person classes and avoid more economic pain and suffering for our community partners in the long term.”

Watch the full news conference below:

https://www.facebook.com/WVUA23/videos/253486795639232

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