College students in Alabama who have tested positive for the coronavirus are attending parties as part of a contest to see who can catch the virus first.

According to Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith, students who knew they had tested positive for COVID-19 would show up at parties with the intent of infecting others. Smith said at first it was a rumor, but after investigating the "unnamed students" and cross-checking information between doctor's offices and the state health department it was determined that the parties were indeed real.

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

Chief Smith did not name the University of Alabama specifically, but he confirmed what Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry told the council after she learned of the "COVID parties" that students had been organizing in the city.

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.

There is no word on what (if anything) is being done to "curb" the intentional behavior or what schools are participating in these coronavirus parties but Tuscaloosa is home to The University of Alabama and numerous other college campuses.

Shortly after Smith's presentation, the City Council voted unanimously on an ordinance requiring residents to wear face masks while out in public.

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