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Alabama students throwing 'COVID parties' to see who can contract virus first

4 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago Wednesday, July 01 2020 Jul 1, 2020 July 01, 2020 5:53 PM July 01, 2020 in News
Source: ABC News
Image of Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith via ABC News

TUSCALOOSA, Al- College students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama are attending parties in surrounding cities as part of a contest to see who can contract COVID-19 first, a city council member said.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have organized "COVID parties" to intentionally infect each other with the virus that has killed over 127,000 people nationwide. McKinstry said when she found out about the disturbing game, she informed the city council.

McKinstry said those who are organizing the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19. 

"They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense," McKinstry said. "They're intentionally doing it."

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council on Tuesday, June 30, that he has confirmed the careless behavior.

Smith expressed his concern in a briefing with the City Council. He said that in recent weeks, there have been parties throughout the city "where students, or kids, would come in with known positive," according to a video recording of the meeting obtained by ABC affiliate station WBMA in Birmingham.

"We thought that was kind of a rumor at first," Smith told the council members. "We did some research. Not only do the doctors' offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information."

Smith did not explain what actions are being taken to curb the behavior or which schools the involved students attend. The seventh-largest city in Alabama is home to The University of Alabama and several other colleges.

The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings while in public just hours after Smith's briefing.

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