Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, have reportedly been hosting parties and betting on who catches COVID-19 first, according to the Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith.
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith says they discovered students, who knew they were COVID-19 positive, have been attending parties. This information was given at the pre-council meeting this afternoon. @abc3340
— Annie Mapp (@AnnieMapp_) June 30, 2020
The fire chief allegedly confirmed the information in front of the Tuscaloosa City Council Tuesday, per ABC News. Smith said that the rumor turned out to be true after local doctors offices and the state health department confirmed the cases. (RELATED: ‘It’s A Struggle’: Stephen A Smith Thinks NBA Players Will Break Quarantine To Have Sex)
“We had seen over the last few weeks parties going on in the county, or throughout the city and county in several locations where students or kids would come in with known positives,” Smith said to the city council, according to ABC 3340, “We thought that was kind of a rumor at first … we did some additional research … not only did the doctor’s offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”
Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry described the alleged actions at the “COVID parties” to ABC News. “They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID,” said McKinstry, “Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense.” McKinstry also told ABC that officials are going to attempt to break up any known parties.
Spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Arrol Sheehan, told ABC that violating Alabama’s “Safer at Home Order” is a misdemeanor and people who violate the order can be fined up to $500. “Suspected violations of the home quarantine order should be reported to law enforcement and the local health department,” said Sheehan to ABC News.
2,049 people reportedly have contracted the virus in Tuscaloosa County, and 38 people have died, according to ABC. The Tuscaloosa City Council reportedly passed an ordinance requiring people to wear masks in public Tuesday.