University of Alabama to End COVID-19 Protocols

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The University of Alabama has announced that it will end COVID-19 protocols on campus.

In a statement, the university says that with declining case numbers and the widespread availability of vaccines and treatments, and in consultation with public health advice, it is taking the following actions:

  • As of Monday, February 21, masking will no longer be mandatory indoors.
  • Campus-provided quarantine and isolation space will be phased out for the remainder of the semester.
  • Case management and hotline services will remain available on a limited basis.

The university says masking will remain in effect in patient care areas and on public transportation, as required by federal law.

Those who are sick or symptomatic can get tested at the student health center or university medical center, seek treatment and stay home on advice. People at increased risk – and especially those who are not vaccinated – are strongly advised to get vaccinated, boost, continue to wear masks and continue to limit their interactions with others.

The university says the number of cases on campus has dropped significantly in recent weeks:

  • Weekly student cases fell from a high of 393 (January 17-23) to 23 last week.
  • Weekly employee cases fell from a high of 140 (January 10-16) to 24 last week.
  • Quarantine isolation space utilization has been as low as zero.
  • Vaccines have been available at UMC, CHS and many other locations for over a year.

The university says the move follows the recommendation of the campus Situational Response Team, which includes epidemiological, medical and other experts. It says other public health officials, including the Alabama Department of Public Health, were also consulted.

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