‘Makes me mad as hell:‘ College students hold parties to purposely get coronavirus

'Whoever gets COVID first gets the (money) pot,' councilwoman says

5. Tuscaloosa, Ala.

COVID-19 cases among younger Americans are going up.

While most people under 45 who become infected will recover without major complications, the virus is still a concern for anyone who gets it.

But some students in Alabama aren’t doing whatever they can to avoid catching it, instead they are actively trying to come down with the coronavirus.

The word party has taken on a whole new meaning for some students in the city of Tuscaloosa.

“First, I couldn’t believe it that these kids are having parties and they’re putting money in a pot and they’re purposely trying to get COVID from the person who has COVID,” Sonya McKinstry with the Tuscaloosa City Council said. “Then apparently whoever gets COVID first gets the pot.”

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith says he recently uncovered the major health concern involving area students and parties.

“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” Smith said. “Not only did the doctors’ offices help confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

Councilwoman McKinstry says it's up to young people to be responsible and avoid contact with others if they're sick.

She says behavior like this is only slowing down the return to normal, not to mention putting the health of loved ones in jeopardy.

“I just think it’s senseless,” McKinstry said. “I think it’s careless. And 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.”

The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa is reopening campus to students for in-person classes this fall.

Officials have not said if the students hosting and attending these parties are enrolled at the capstone.

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