Students throw COVID-19 parties to bet on who will catch virus first

WABC logo
Friday, July 3, 2020
Students threw COVID-19 parties to see who gets infected
'IT MAKES ME MAD AS HELL' What in the world is a COVID-19 party and why would anybody have one? Hit play to find out.

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Officials in Tuscaloosa, Alabama say some students are throwing parties, competing to see who can catch COVID-19 first.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith spoke about this during a city council meeting on Tuesday, confirming the parties.

According to Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKistry, party organizers intentionally invite guests who have COVID-19. Then money is put into a pot. Whoever catches the virus first wins the pot.

Officials are outraged because they fear some students might go to these parties not knowing the intent and say this kind of behavior puts their loved one in jeopardy.

"It makes me mad as hell that, you know, we're constantly trying to do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus while they're just having a damn party trying to spread it," McKistry said.

It's not clear if the students who have COVID-19 have infected anyone at the parties.

According to ABC News, Smith didn't say exactly what is being done to stop the parties, but McKistry said they'll try to break up whatever gatherings they hear about.

It's not clear what schools the students attend, but Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama and several other colleges.

Alabama has a "Safer at Home Order," and officials stress violating it is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $500.

Shortly after Tuesday's meeting, city council unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance requiring face coverings be worn while in public. Tuscaloosa's ordinance will go into effect on July 6.