Students have been organising ‘COVID’ parties, a disturbing game where people who have been confirmed to have the coronavirus attend, and whoever gets infected with the virus first ‘wins’.
Officials have confirmed students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, have been playing the twisted game where hosts would intentionally invite people who have coronavirus.
“They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID,” Tuscaloosa City Councillor Sonya McKinstry told ABC News.
“Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense.”
During a City Council livestream on Tuesday (local time), Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed authorities had heard rumours of the reckless behaviour throughout the county at several locations.
“We thought that was kind of a rumour at first. We did some additional research,” he said.
“Not only did the doctors’ offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they had also had the same information.”
At least some of the students were from out of state, Mr Smith said, indicating they were in college. But officials did not disclose what schools the students attended. Three colleges are located in Tuscaloosa, according to the Associated Press.
More than 38,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide, and at least 947 people have died of the illness.
The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but it can be more serious and even fatal for older adults and those with other health problems.
Speaking to WVTM, Ms McKinstry slammed the student’s ‘COVID’ parties and branded them as ‘careless’.
“It makes me mad as hell, we’re constantly trying to do everything thing we can to slow the spread while they’re just having a damn party trying to spread it,” she said.
Tuscaloosa joined the list of Alabama cities requiring face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Birmingham and surrounding Jefferson County, Montgomery and Selma already have mask ordinances because of the pandemic, which health officials say is worsening in Alabama as hospitalisations increase and the percentage of positive virus test results rises.
Gov. Kay Ivey has declined to enact a statewide mask law, saying it couldn’t be enforced, but she extended other, less-restrictive rules that have been in place.
With Associated Press
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