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Auburn University resumes all on-site operations as East Ala. COVID-19 numbers trend downward

Updated: Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:16 PM EST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - Nearly six weeks into 2021, and students, faculty and staff are all back on campus on the Plains.

“It’s definitely a lot more crowded than it has been the past couple of weeks,” Auburn student Daniel Leaphart said. “It’s definitely harder to find a parking spot today.”

After many students were learning virtually and faculty and staff were working remotely, too, Auburn University resumed all on-site operations Monday.

“I like that there are more food options,” first-year student Taleah Sadler said. “Also, I get to run into a lot of people that I know from home or meet new people, which is fun.”

This comes as the state is seeing a downward trend of COVID-19 cases. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), at the beginning of 2021, on average there were about 4,000 new cases in the state daily. Now, it’s closer to 2,000.

“By no means does that mean we’re out of the woods, but it is a good indicator that we’re doing what we need to do and our social distancing is working again,” said Bob Franklin, the director of the Russell County Emergency Management Agency.

According to ADPH, Lee county saw more than 1,800 new COVID cases in the first two weeks of the year. In the most recent two weeks, there have been just over 1,100.

Russell County has seen a similar trend.

“Last month, we were topping out at over 500 cases over a 14-day period,” Franklin said. “When I ran the report today, we’re at about 286 over a 14-day period.”

The numbers were comforting to some Auburn students, who also said they’re appreciative of Auburn’s safety measures.

“If people follow that, I think it should help a lot,” Leaphart said.

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