From The Tribune staff reports
TUSCALOOSA — College students are known for their partying ways, but a new trend at a college in Tuscaloosa is making national headlines.
Students at one of the three colleges in Tuscaloosa are hosting COVID parties and competing to see who gets infected with the deadly virus first, according to city officials. The officials did not disclose what schools the students attended. Three colleges are located in Tuscaloosa.
The parties were discussed during a Tuscaloosa City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Councilor Sonya McKinstry said the students invite people who have tested positive for coronavirus, put money in a pot and the money goes to whoever tests positive first.
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed rumors about the parties were true.
“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first. We did some additional research. Not only did the doctors’ offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they had also had the same information,” Smith said in remarks shown on Facebook live.
The city of Tuscaloosa joined the list of Alabama cities requiring face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, during the council meeting.
More than 38,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide, and at least 947 people have died of the illness. The state on Wednesday had nearly 800 people in state hospitals with COVID-19, the highest number since the pandemic began.
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.