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Exit testing resumes for University of Alabama students


The University of Alabama will resume exit testing for students starting today. Healthcare workers provided free tests for 10 days prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The goal was to help prevent students from carrying COVID-19 home to their families. A new round of exit tests will be given starting today at the East Campus Storm Shelter.

Dr. Karen Burgess is interim medical director at the UA student health center. She said people are learning how to avoid doing things that spreads the virus.

"I think with the restrictions earlier in the semester about limiting how many people could be in bars and hours of bars, and all those restrictions we had at one point in time, people opted for private parties instead, which ultimately were just as problematic,” Burgess said.

Banners and yard signs went up all over the Tuscaloosa campus urging students to wear face masks and to wash their hands or use sanitizer frequently. Still, photos appeared on social media with unmasked students lining up outside local bars during the semester. Burgess said everyone is getting smarter about how to handle the coronavirus.

“I hope that given the uptick of cases that we experienced at the beginning of the semester—I hope we’ve learned how important it is to maintain social distance, and follow the guidance that’s been given to us," she said. 

The University is planning modified testing plan for students returning for the spring semester. The new strategy involves testing students living on campus and random sentinel testing.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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