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."

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 60°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 62°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 60°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 524367

Reported Deaths: 10807
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson756511496
Mobile40258800
Madison34165498
Tuscaloosa25448445
Montgomery24089574
Shelby23250243
Baldwin20787302
Lee15670166
Calhoun14375313
Morgan14180274
Etowah13716348
Marshall12022220
Houston10427279
Elmore10011202
Limestone9873149
Cullman9512191
St. Clair9508236
Lauderdale9293234
DeKalb8774183
Talladega8131173
Walker7153277
Autauga6793107
Jackson6772110
Blount6556133
Colbert6240132
Coffee5435113
Dale4780111
Russell432139
Franklin421882
Chilton4153110
Covington4084116
Tallapoosa3943149
Escambia390375
Dallas3529150
Chambers3526122
Clarke347660
Marion3084100
Pike306776
Lawrence297696
Winston273272
Bibb256961
Marengo248461
Geneva246475
Pickens233359
Barbour228455
Hale219175
Butler214068
Fayette210560
Henry188344
Cherokee182945
Randolph178741
Monroe174040
Washington165838
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149957
Cleburne147141
Lamar139834
Lowndes137853
Wilcox125427
Bullock122140
Conecuh109828
Perry107626
Sumter103332
Coosa100928
Greene91534
Choctaw59024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 837833

Reported Deaths: 12111
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby933421591
Davidson88250926
Knox49926625
Hamilton43501488
Rutherford42422423
Williamson27589215
Sumner23549345
Montgomery19740224
Wilson18547229
Out of TN1797995
Unassigned16778133
Sullivan16266287
Blount15213194
Bradley14670148
Washington14243244
Maury13261170
Sevier13204175
Putnam11193173
Madison10853241
Robertson9627129
Anderson8639171
Hamblen8522171
Greene7746152
Tipton7235104
Coffee6833121
Dickson6740109
Cumberland6586128
Carter6487156
Bedford6439129
Gibson6410144
McMinn637897
Roane6197102
Jefferson6089124
Loudon602469
Lawrence582086
Hawkins5802106
Monroe572495
Warren551881
Dyer5371104
Franklin509488
Fayette493678
Obion450396
Cheatham445954
Cocke444298
Rhea431575
Lincoln430963
Marshall412358
Campbell410562
Weakley403763
Giles396299
Henderson373276
Macon358677
Carroll357782
White356269
Hardin350566
Hardeman346764
Lauderdale314444
Henry312675
Marion310846
Claiborne307373
Scott305745
Overton298161
Wayne294434
Hickman280746
McNairy277254
DeKalb275753
Smith275238
Haywood268461
Grainger259649
Trousdale249122
Morgan246339
Fentress238446
Johnson232238
Bledsoe210111
Chester209651
Crockett201548
Polk200324
Unicoi195249
Cannon189231
Union186534
Grundy178433
Humphreys174622
Lake169626
Sequatchie167028
Benton163440
Decatur157538
Lewis156626
Meigs135124
Stewart131028
Jackson130035
Clay109431
Houston108633
Perry105728
Moore100217
Van Buren83622
Pickett75724
Hancock55712

Community Events