By: Hayden C. Cordova | Managing Editor
On Mar. 2, President Tony Waldrop and Interim Provost Andrea Kent announced that South Alabama would be returning to in-person classes and campus activities in Fall 2021.
Waldrop stated that this was primarily due to the collective health and safety guidelines South put into place coupled with the statewide reduction of overall COVID-19 cases.
“Courses that were moved fully or partially online due to the pandemic will shift back to in-person learning, assuming we continue to see improving trends in controlling the virus,” Waldrop said.
Kent expressed her confidence about the return and recognized the need for in-person activities.
“Our campus community has shown diligence in managing the risks of COVID-19,” Kent said. “Our top priority is maintaining the health of our students and employees, at the same time recognize our student’s wants and needs to be in the classroom.”
Other Alabama colleges are echoing the move towards full capacity campus operations. The University of Alabama announced a similar return to normal operations for the fall semester. Auburn University, on the other hand, has seen a return to full capacity since Feb. 8.
This return to a pre-2020 normal is all entirely dependent on where Alabama and its counties stand with COVID-19 cases. Currently, Mobile County has 36,184 active cases, higher than Tuscaloosa County’s 24,213 cases. In comparison, Auburn’s Lee County sits at a low 14,980 active cases.
With Auburn’s return to full capacity, time will tell whether South and Mobile County can match the low number of cases needed before a safe reopening can be completely assured.