Some young people in Alabama are throwing COVID-19 parties, a disturbing competition where people who have coronavirus attend and the first person to get infected receives a payout, local officials said.

According to a report by CNN, the parties are being held in Tuscaloosa. The report said City Council member Sonya McKinstry told CNN that infected people are urged to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus. McKinstry said she heard about the trend from fire officials.

“We thought that was kind of a rumors at first. We did some research, not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information,” the report quoted McKinstry.

McKinstry said that Fire Chief Randy Smith also said, during a presentation to the City Council this week, that young people in the city are throwing parties with a payout if they catch coronavirus, the report noted.

What is a COVID-19 party?

Infected people are urged to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus.

The winner of the money made off of ticket sales, is the first person confirmed by a doctor to have coronavirus after the exposure, McKinstry told CNN. She added that there have been several parties in the city and surrounding areas over the past few weeks, and probably more that officials don’t know about, the report said.

“It makes me furious,” McKinstry said. “Furious to the fact that something that is so serious and deadly is being taken for granted. Not only is it irresponsible, but you could contract the virus and take it home to your parents or grandparents,” the report quoted.

What is the city doing about the problem?

The report said “the city is working on getting the word out and breaking up such parties.” Also, a mask ordinance was passed this week that goes into effect Monday.

“This is not political. This is a public health issue. People are dying and there is no cure. We have to do whatever we can to save as many lives as possible,” the report quoted McKinstry.

According to the report, CNN has reached out to the Alabama Health Department for comment. The state has reported about 39,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 1,000 deaths, the reeport said.


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