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Young people are throwing ‘COVID parties,’ where they invite infected people and gamble on who gets virus first: officials

Coronavirus

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WVTM/CNN) – COVID-19 cases among younger Americans are going up.

While most people under the age of 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 – they are actively trying to come down with coronavirus.

The word “party” has taken on a whole new meaning for some college 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. Then apparently whoever gets COVID first gets the pot,” said Sonya McKinstry with Tuscaloosa City Council.

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.”

Chief Smith says some research turned that rumor into fact.

“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 to 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. 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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