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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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
Montgomery8852184
Tuscaloosa8654118
Madison792778
Shelby601349
Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
Calhoun353444
Etowah352145
Morgan331428
Houston292021
Elmore267348
DeKalb243221
St. Clair233036
Walker231984
Talladega217129
Limestone211920
Cullman190720
Dallas179126
Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
Blount161715
Escambia161124
Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
Dale139244
Coffee13596
Pike120510
Chambers116842
Tallapoosa116485
Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
Henry5075
Macon48318
Fayette4628
Sumter43819
Cleburne3825
Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 192995

Reported Deaths: 2377
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30953459
Davidson26630306
Hamilton951995
Knox949779
Rutherford936189
Williamson531036
Sumner486598
Wilson351945
Putnam334940
Montgomery311144
Unassigned30425
Out of TN298627
Bradley296217
Madison292164
Sevier263815
Blount253524
Maury240924
Washington232836
Robertson222535
Sullivan219733
Hamblen193926
Tipton183219
Gibson170423
Trousdale16667
Hardeman158226
Wayne14995
Dyer138714
Bedford136417
Dickson127415
Coffee125413
Cumberland121718
Weakley120519
Fayette120419
Anderson120013
Obion119110
Henderson118924
Loudon11846
Carter117728
Greene116144
McMinn114625
Jefferson113014
Warren10757
Lawrence106713
Macon106721
Monroe105218
Hardin104716
Lauderdale99416
Haywood99221
Franklin9899
Lake9252
Roane9055
Carroll89920
McNairy89618
Bledsoe8624
White8479
Rhea84412
Hawkins82218
Cheatham81510
Marshall7785
Overton7586
Cocke7549
Smith73111
Johnson7262
Chester64310
Giles63117
Henry6289
Lincoln6241
Hickman5938
DeKalb57014
Crockett54219
Marion5338
Decatur5307
Fentress5263
Campbell4544
Claiborne4425
Polk39910
Grainger3863
Union3642
Benton3379
Jackson3315
Morgan3203
Grundy3095
Cannon2920
Unicoi2891
Humphreys2583
Sequatchie2381
Clay2335
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Houston2243
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Lewis2041
Moore1791
Van Buren1660
Perry1530
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