Despite a massive celebration on the Tuscaloosa Strip following the Crimson Tide's dominant victory over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff earlier this month, the University of Alabama reported that only 205 of its students were COVID-19 positive Friday afternoon.

The UA System's new and improved COVID-19 Dashboard was updated Friday for the first time since in-person instruction for the fall semester ended in November.

A system spokeswoman said more than 11,000 students, faculty and staff members have been tested for the coronavirus in the last 10 days as classes resume on the system's three campuses. Systemwide, less than one percent of those tests were positive.

In Tuscaloosa, 205 students and 22 faculty and staff members tested positive. At the University of Alabama in Birmingham, 94 students, 30 faculty members and 108 employees of the school's clinical enterprises tested positive. At the University of Alabama in Hunstville, 47 students and 11 faculty members tested positive.

In a press release accompanying the data release, a UA spokeswoman said testing numbers continue to reflect the arguments made by proponents of in-person instruction since the pandemic began -- that the safest place for students, faculty and staff is on campus.

"UA System data consistently reflects increases in employee and student positive cases during campus closures, signifying there is greater safety on-campus than in the community," the spokeswoman said in the release.

After photos and videos of the massive Strip celebration went viral earlier this month, the University allowed its professors to temporarily switch to virtual instruction if they so chose. That period is soon set to end, and classes will return to their originally planned mode of instruction on Monday. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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