Students and others emerged from crowded bars near campus Monday night, traffic cameras and images posted on social media were on University Boulevard in an area called “The Strip.”
Many of the fans who were yelling and cheering as they slammed into each other on the street were not wearing face masks. Dr. Scott Harris, head of the Alabama Department of Public Health, said he expected more cases of Covid-19 to emerge as a result of the street party.
“It is disappointing to see that people are not paying attention to the guidance that we try to provide to keep them safe. I was excited like everyone else and I wanted to celebrate too, but right now is not the time to be in large groups of people when you are not protected, “he said.
More than 5,500 people have died in Alabama from the coronavirus disease, and about 408,000 have tested positive. About 20,000 people tested positive in Tuscaloosa County, making it one of the worst in the state for the virus in overall numbers, and about 175 Covid-19 patients are being treated by DCH Regional Medical Center. in the city.
The post-game scene was exactly what officials feared when they urged people to watch the game at home and celebrate in private.
People lined up to enter the bars an hour before kick-off despite the warnings, The Tuscaloosa News reported. “All the bars are open and we are ready to go through the state of Ohio,” said a tweet from Gallettes, a popular student bar, long before the game started.
Despite the threat of Covid-19, the celebration dwarfed the size of previous ones during coach Nick Saban’s title series in Alabama.