US students throw ‘coronavirus parties’ to infect guests, giving prizes to those who catch Covid-19 first

AP , Thursday 2 Jul 2020

Several university students in an Alabama city organised “Covid-19 parties” as a contest to see who would get the virus first, officials said.

Tuscaloosa City Councillor Sonya McKinstry said students hosted the parties to intentionally infect each other with the new coronavirus, news outlets reported.

McKinstry said party organisers purposely invited guests who tested positive for Covid-19. She said the students put money in a pot and whoever got Covid-19 first would get the cash.

“It makes no sense,” McKinstry said. “They’re intentionally doing it.”

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed the incidents to the city council on Tuesday.

The department thought the parties were rumours, but Smith said after some research, officials discovered the parties were real.

“Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information,” Smith said.

Smith did not say whether actions would be taken against the students. He also did not say which schools the students attend. Tuscaloosa is home to The University of Alabama and several other colleges.

Alabama is one of several states reporting record increases in new coronavirus cases in the past week. Others include Arizona, Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.

The United States has reported over 2.7 million total infections and more than 128,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

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