There has been a COVID-19 outbreak at the construction site for the renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
Joseph Goodman of AL.com reports that more than 10 construction workers have tested positive for COVID-19, but the number is feared to be “much higher.”
More than 10 people have tested positive for COVID-19, according to people familiar with the outbreak, but the number could be much higher. With so many exposures, there is a fear that more positive cases linked to the job site are inevitable.
The large number of positive tests means, essentially, everyone at the job site could have been exposed. AL.com has visited the worksite multiple times since work began in November and rarely were workers spotted wearing masks inside the work fences.
Caddell Construction Company, the renovation project’s chief contractor, told the Tuscaloosa News on Tuesday night that the stadium work was shut down over the weekend to do a deep-cleaning “after receiving notice of positive tests among some employees and trade partners.”
“The safety of all of our employees and trade partners is our top priority,” Caddell said in a statement released to The Tuscaloosa News on Tuesday night. “In addition to adhering to all established protocols to protect our workers, Caddell restricted operations over the past weekend after receiving notice of positive tests among some employees and trade partners. This allowed us to engage in additional deep-cleaning and provide testing by an independent laboratory so all of our team members could be cleared before returning to the job site.
“Our processes meet and/or exceed OSHA and CDC guidelines. We will continue to act on the latest guidance and information to promote the health and safety of our essential workforce.”
But work resumed on Monday, and then a “huge line” of construction workers took COVID-19 tests, according to AL.Com.
Michael Hebron, owner of Rama Jama’s restaurant across the street from the stadium, said he saw a long line of stadium construction workers lined up to take COVID-19 tests on Monday.
“It was a huge line of people,” Hebron said Wednesday.
The site has been a ghost town since.
The University of Alabama released a statement, claiming that they “continuously mandated that [their] campus contractors take all necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
“From the start of the pandemic, UA has continuously mandated that our campus contractors take all necessary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The contractors immediately adapted operations and processes, engaged in heightened cleaning, and took other protective measures for the health and safety of their employees. The University directly provided sanitation supplies, thermometers, and signage at all construction sites, and made personal protective equipment available to all contractors. Those processes, which have been in place since early March, are continuously refined based on the latest guidance from state, federal and industry leaders in order to protect the health and safety of the campus community.”
The $107 million renovation project was intended to be completed before Alabama’s scheduled home opener against Georgia State on Sept. 12 (note: if there’s college football being played at home stadiums by then, of course; it’s all a fluid situation with the COVID-19 pandemic). If the games are indeed back, make sure to check out Sam Evans view on the topic to help you make some good money!