Update Jan. 25, 3:10 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the range of dates for positive cases as Jan. 13 to 17. The correct range of dates is Jan. 17 through 23. The below article has been updated to reflect that.
The latest update from the UA System COVID-19 dashboard reported 573 positive cases among UAB’s students and non-clinical employees for Jan. 17 through Jan. 23.
The update also reported that 16 of UAB’s 75 quarantine and isolation rooms are in use.
In the previous week, there were 553 positive COVID-19 cases, and in both weeks students made up the majority of cases.
The vaccination percentages for the system were removed from the dashboard despite being there in the fall semester. The most recent update in Oct. 2020 reported that 92% of UAB employees and 67% of UAB students were vaccinated.
“Our campuses have much higher vaccination rates than the community at large, and we continue to encourage anyone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated and boosted to take advantage of widely available, safe and effective vaccines that overwhelmingly protect from the worst outcomes of the virus,” said Selwyn Vickers, dean of the UAB School of Medicine.
UAB’s weekly COVID-19 case numbers are the highest in the UA system, although Jefferson County has historically experienced waves before the rest of the state.
“We actually experience the surge here in Jefferson County about five days ahead of the rest of the state, so we’ll likely peak before the rest of the state,” said epidemiologist Suzanne Judd at the UAB town hall on Jan. 12.
The UA System Health & Safety Advisory Committee anticipated this increase in the number of cases.
“Based on national and statewide trends, the UA System Health & Safety Advisory Committee expected an increase in case numbers. Although Omicron is highly contagious, it generally causes less severe illness compared to other variants — especially among people who take advantage of the COVID vaccines,” the statement on the dashboard said.
The case numbers for the last two weeks are significantly higher than the numbers from the same time last year. From Jan. 13, 2021 to Jan. 22, 2021, there were 94 cases among students and 30 among non-clinical faculty and staff.
The number of positive cases that emerged during the 2020-2021 winter break were reported with 365 among students and 286 among non-clinical employees, but no such numbers for the 2021-2022 winter break have been reported.