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WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Tuscaloosa bar found not following coronavirus guidelines prior to citywide shutdown

Some bars followed the guidelines in place over the weekend, others didn’t and it’s why they’re all closed now. One bar was so crowded, and so few people wearing masks, the WAAY 31 I-Team needed to leave because it didn’t seem safe.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 10:50 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2020 11:14 PM

New information released tonight, the University of Alabama confirms testing revealed 566 cases of Coronavirus across all its campuses since August 19.

Eight are in Huntsville at UAH, but 531 are at the main campus in Tuscaloosa.

Earlier on Monday the university and city leaders decided something had to change because of packed bars, people without masks and no social distancing.

On Monday, the city shut down bars for two weeks!

The WAAY 31 I-Team spent the weekend in Tuscaloosa and learned the reason behind the decision.

Some bars followed the guidelines in place over the weekend, others didn’t and it’s why they’re all closed now. One bar was so crowded, and so few people wearing masks, the WAAY 31 I-Team needed to leave because it didn’t seem safe.

9 p.m.: Typically pretty early for bars to be this packed, but at a bar called Twelve-25 in Tuscaloosa, but let's back up to the start of the journey at the University of Alabama.

At 3:30 p.m., our executive producer and WAAY 31's Casey Albritton arrived on campus. They saw signs everywhere, asking students to social distance and wear masks.

They barely saw any students on the quad or along Greek row, but everyone they did see was wore masks and stayed in groups.

Overall, it seemed safe.

An hour later, they went to Buffalo Phil's.

The restaurant and bar along the Tuscaloosa strip forced customers to wait in line outside and staff made sure they kept their distance.

Once they sat down, staff was always in masks. Customers put theirs on when they left their tables.

Next up, a bar called the Bear trap. It was one of the bars from viral pictures taken the prior weekend. But this week, it looked much different.

It’s the only spot we saw a police officer!

People stayed in groups and security told students to social distance.

The WAAY 31 I-Team left at 7 p.m. and walked by a long line leading into the bear trap.

The bouncer yelled, telling everyone to keep their masks on.

They were so strict with capacity, the WAAY 31 I-Team never got back in.

At 8 p.m., they walked into an already crowded Twelve-25.

When the crowd grew, staff removed tables and chairs to make more space for the bar.

As the night continued, students continued to pile in.

Some students wearing masks, but there was no social distancing.

At 9:17 p.m., there's no spacing, no one wearing face coverings and people kept coming inside.

Another video taken at 9:23 p.m. shows lines of students waiting at the bar four people deep with no masks in sight.

At this point, WAAY 31's I-Team decided to leave because it didn’t seem safe.

Outside was a long line, not seen at any other bar.

The I-Team's last stop was Gallettes, a bar that faced backlash because of these scenes the prior weekend with no social distancing or masks.

This weekend, it seemed the safest.

Signs lined the bar asking people to take precautions and you could see X's on the ground to show people where to stand.

Staff told everyone to leave promptly at 11 p.m. and staff immediately started wiping down tables.

As the I-Team started to leave, they didn't see any Tuscaloosa Police or University of Alabama police officers.

Then along Greek row, it was eerily quiet and empty.

WAAY 31's I-Team spent roughly eight hours on campus and only saw one police officer.

From their perspective, it appeared that enforcement of health orders fell on individual businesses, and some took it more seriously than others.

As of now, bars in Tuscaloosa can reopen September 8. Restaurants can remain open

Governor Kay Ivey released this statement in response to the order saying, "If we do not act expeditiously, it leaves the potential for a situation to get out of hand, which would require even tougher, longer-lasting decisions to be enacted."

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Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
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Walker268892
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Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 233569

Reported Deaths: 2952
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34523553
Davidson29914326
Knox1193687
Hamilton11197103
Rutherford11090106
Williamson665649
Sumner5664107
Wilson443153
Putnam415653
Montgomery387251
Out of TN377535
Unassigned37264
Madison363079
Bradley343421
Sullivan324845
Sevier317321
Blount313932
Washington313244
Maury308135
Robertson249839
Hamblen233843
Tipton220622
Gibson205938
Dyer203726
Hardeman179532
Coffee177420
Trousdale17437
Obion164918
Bedford159620
Dickson157318
Fayette157022
Anderson156713
Greene156551
Wayne15657
Loudon155010
McMinn152232
Cumberland150124
Lawrence147918
Jefferson146619
Weakley144425
Carter142832
Monroe137027
Henderson136125
Warren135110
Hardin132219
Lauderdale131918
Macon126324
Franklin122816
Roane12017
Haywood119526
Overton113311
Johnson11067
Hawkins110524
White110214
Carroll109424
McNairy109126
Marshall10568
Rhea104916
Cheatham97311
Lake9703
Smith94713
Cocke92612
Bledsoe9244
Giles90134
Campbell8857
Fentress8618
Lincoln8142
Crockett78321
Henry74610
Hickman74413
Chester71314
Marion7089
DeKalb67716
Decatur62811
Grainger5394
Grundy5248
Claiborne5046
Union4992
Polk47413
Jackson4225
Humphreys4154
Morgan4116
Houston39215
Benton3919
Cannon3872
Clay37112
Unicoi3672
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