Coronavirus: Officials say Alabama students who knew they were infected attended parties

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Several college students in Alabama who knew they had tested positive for the coronavirus still attended parties in Tuscaloosa, a city official said.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith said his department discovered the students had been attending parties around the city and in Tuscaloosa County over the past few weeks, WBMA reported.

Smith revealed the information before a City Council meeting Tuesday, the television station reported.

Smith said his department investigated rumors and confirmed the unnamed students had tested positive through local doctors’ offices and the state health department.

“We had seen over the last few weeks parties going on in the county, or throughout the city and county in several locations where students or kids would come in with known positives,” Smith said. “We thought that was kind of a rumor at first. ... we did some additional research. ... not only did the doctor’s offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry took it a step further, accusing students of organizing "COVID parties" to intentionally infect one another, ABC News reported.

“They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID. Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot. It makes no sense,” McKinstry told the network. “They’re intentionally doing it.”

The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings while in public, hours after Smith addressed the lawmakers, WBMA reported.

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