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Alabama students are throwing ‘COVID parties’ to see who gets infected, officials say

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivy has called for people to stay at home

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A face mask is discarded on a sidewalk during the coronavirus outbreak in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, Thursday, May 21, 2020.

A face mask is discarded on a sidewalk during the coronavirus outbreak in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday, May 21, 2020.

AP

An Alabama city official said Wednesday that students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, have been hosting parties to see who can catch COVID-19first, ABC News reports.

What’s happening:

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been having “COVID parties” with a contest to see who can catch COVID-19 from other people at the party, according to ABC News.

These students reportedly invited people infected with COVID-19 to help the spread, McKinstry said.

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

According to CNN, the winners receive cash from ticket sales to the party.

“I just think it’s senseless. I think it’s careless, and it made me mad as hell that we’re constantly trying to do everything we can to slow the spread while they’re just having a damn party trying to spread it,” McKinstry told WVTM.

What else is being done?

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed the parties are real, ABC News reports.

“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. 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,” Smith said, according to WBMA.

The council passed an ordinance requiring masks at any public gathering.