Tuscaloosa students throwing unsafe 'COVID parties,' city councilor warns

Tuscaloosa students throwing unsafe 'COVID parties,' city councilor warns

The parties are a competition where people, who know they are sick with the highly contagious respiratory virus, attend parties and bet on who gets sick first. What's worth the risk of serious illness or death? Then money is put into a pot.

Students are reportedly throwing parties and whoever catches the virus from an infected person first, wins a cash prize.

The parties are being held in Tuscaloosa, and infected people are urged to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus, City Council member Sonya McKinstry told CNN.

Smith says the fire service had received reports of students throwing parties and inviting "known positives", but initially thought it was just a rumor. "Not only did the doctors' offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they had also had the same information", Mr Smith said in remarks shown on Facebook live. "It makes no sense", McKinstry said.

McKinstry said party organizers purposely invited guests who tested positive for COVID-19.

Richard Rush, a city spokesman, said in a statement to ABC News that the city "is now working with local agencies and organizations to ensure that we do everything in our power to fight this pandemic".

Officials are outraged because they fear some students might go to these parties not knowing the intent and say this kind of behaviour puts their loved one in jeopardy. "But I think when you're dealing with the mind frame of people who are intentionally doing stuff like that and they're spreading it intentionally, how can you truly fight something that people are constantly trying to promote?"

Alabama School of Law
University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa Ala

She said she heard about the trend from fire officials. Breaking that quarantine can incur a fine up to $500.

CNN has reached out to the Alabama Health Department for comment. According to state figures, more than 2,800 people have been hospitalized with infections and 947 have died.

The state has recorded a total of 38,442 cases, with a total of 906 in the last 24 hours, according to data provided by the state Department of Public Health.

But despite that concern, some students in Alabama are actively trying to come down with the coronavirus.

Under the extended orders, gyms, entertainment venues, child care facilities and barbershops are required to follow sanitation and social distancing rules.

"We know face coverings aren't ideal and they don't stop everything", Harris said.

Related Articles