Coronavirus Fears Rise within the Wake of Alabama Soccer Celebrations

About 5,000 soccer followers packed a well-liked boulevard in Tuscaloosa after the College of Alabama received its 18th school soccer nationwide championship on Monday evening, ignoring the town’s pleas earlier than the sport to remain house and inflaming worries about an inflow of coronavirus circumstances in a metropolis already straining to include the pandemic.

The scene on the road of bars and eating places generally known as the Strip was exactly what well being officers wished to keep away from after the Crimson Tide routed Ohio State, 52-24. Followers, many not carrying masks, may very well be seen bumping into each other, tossing beer bottles and reveling as if the pandemic didn’t exist.

Mayor Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa stated 14 folks have been arrested after fights broke out within the crowd.

Town reached a vital level within the pandemic, Maddox stated final week, with simply 4 intensive care unit rooms obtainable on the metropolis’s principal hospital and a police power restricted to about 69 p.c due to the variety of officers who had both contracted or been uncovered to the virus.

Town had urged followers to not create a “block social gathering surroundings” if Alabama received. Circumstances in Alabama had already elevated 30 p.c over the previous week in comparison with two weeks in the past, in keeping with a New York Instances database.

Now, well being officers are making ready for a post-championship spike.

“A surge on high of a surge, like most locations within the nation, can have devastating penalties,” Maddox stated.

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