Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mayor Walt Maddox has ordered bars to reopen today after being shut down since Aug. 24. The executive order issued by the mayor mandates bars can reopen in a limited capacity allowing for 50% occupancy and cannot exceed 100 people. Alcohol will also only be allowed for seated customers.
"As a result of our combined efforts [with the University of Alabama], the average number of daily cases, and the overall positivity rates in our community are declining. Although far from over, this positive trend provides an opportunity for a limited reopening of bars which have sacrificed a great deal to protect our healthcare system and economy,” said Mayor Maddox in a statement.
What the numbers look like: On Friday, The University of Alabama reported 858 new cases between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3 among students and staff. Since the beginning of the school year, the institution has reported 1,910 cases.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health data, there has yet to be a steady decline in positive cases in Tuscaloosa.
“We expected higher testing numbers at UA until the impact of the bar closures and the moratorium on campus social events could make a difference,” said Dr. Richard Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama in a statement. “We are starting to see the results of those decisions.”