College students in Tuscaloosa, Ala., are throwing “COVID parties” in which they invite people infected with the novel coronavirus and bet on who will get sick first, according to city officials.
Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry told ABC News Wednesday that students in the city and surrounding areas have been holding the parties as part of a game to intentionally pass each other the virus that has infected nearly 2.7 million people in the U.S. and left more than 130,000 dead.
“They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” McKinstry told ABC. “They’re intentionally doing it.”
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told city officials on Tuesday that fire service discovered students who had tested positive for COVID-19 positive were attending parties around the city over the past few weeks.
“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 positive. 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,” Smith told city council members Tuesday.
“We’re trying to break up any parties that we know of,” McKinstry told ABC. “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?”