Alabama Crimson Tide fans appeared to flood the streets of Tuscaloosa on Monday night following the school's 54-24 national championship victory over Ohio State.
The celebrations took place amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state of Alabama, which has seen a 30% increase in the last 14 days and an average of 4,272 cases per day.
According to The New York Times, there were 2,100 reported cases and 13 new coronavirus deaths in Alabama on Jan. 11.
Traditionally when Alabama wins a college football title, fans swarm the Strip in Tuscaloosa, creating a block party in the city's downtown. However, fans had been urged before the game not to host any block parties if the Crimson Tide were victorious.
“We can’t have block parties this year,” Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox said in a recent video shared to Twitter. “There will be a time and place to celebrate, but this is not the time. All of us have friends, family members, people that we know and love who have been impacted by COVID-19. Presently, our hospital is stretched.
“When it is time to celebrate, let’s do it where we are and not out in the streets of Tuscaloosa. I know we can do this.”
Last week, Maddox echoed a similar message to The Times, saying that "we’re probably in our most precarious position since the pandemic began in early March...When your hospital has four available I.C.U. rooms left, that’s as serious as it gets."
With the win on Monday night, Alabama claimed its 18th national championship in school history with Nick Saban passing legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for the most titles by a coach in college football history.
Celebrate Alabama's national championship win with Sports Illustrated's championship commemorative issue. You can also purchase classic Alabama covers in the SI cover store.