Alabama students hold COVID-19 parties with prize for first sick person

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (NEXSTAR/AP) — Officials in an Alabama city said several college students organized “COVID-19 parties” as a contest to see who would get the virus first.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students hosted the parties to intentionally infect each other with the new coronavirus. McKinstry said party organizers purposely invited guests who tested positive for COVID-19.

“They put money in a pot, and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” she said, according to the New York Post.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed the incidents to the City Council on Tuesday.

Smith didn’t say whether actions would be taken against the students. He also didn’t say which schools the students attend.

“It makes me furious,” McKinstry said in an interview with CNN. “Furious to the fact that something that is so serious and deadly is being taken for granted. Not only is it irresponsible, but you could contract the virus and take it home to your parents or grandparents.”

Alabama has reported about 39,000 coronavirus cases, and its death toll is approaching 1,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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