Tuscaloosa joined the short list of Alabama cities requiring face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus after an official said students who knew they were infected with the virus had attended parties in the area. What's worth the risk of serious illness or death?
"They put money in a pot and they try to get COVID", Tuscaloosa City Councillor Sonya McKinstry told ABC News. "And apparently whoever gets COVID first gets the pot".
During a presentation to the City Council this week, Fire Chief Randy Smith also said young people in the city are throwing parties with a payout if they catch coronavirus, McKinstry said.
"We did some additional research. not only did the doctor's offices help confirm it, but the state confirmed they had the same information", Smith said, according to WBMA.
Smith, who wore a face-covering in the briefing, didn't state what measures were being taken to curb such activities from happening in the future and also stayed away from naming the schools to which the students belonged.
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy reacts to top health officials testifying to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic on 'America's Newsroom'.
Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been hosting "COVID" parties making it a game to see who gets infected first.
McKinstry said she fears that some people will attend the parties not knowing their intent and be exposed to infected guests.
On Wednesday, McKinstry went into more detail about the parties, telling ABC News that attendees at these parties were gambling on who would get sick next.
Sheehan stressed that violation of the heath order is a misdemeanor and fines for each violation can be up to $500.
Young people in Alabama wouldn't be the first to hold "coronavirus parties".
Within the past week, Alabama became one of 14 states to report a record-high number of cases in a single day.
As of Thursday, Alabama had confirmed more than 38,000 cases of the coronavirus, which includes 2,049 in Tuscaloosa County. "If we continue going in the wrong direction, and our hospitals are not able to handle the capacity of patients, then we're going to reserve the right to come back in and reverse course".
"We know face coverings aren't flawless and they don't stop everything", Harris said.
Does wearing a face mask pose any health risks?
AdvertisementBut he added that he doesn't think mandatory mask-wearing orders, which many states have implemented, are necessary. Among Republicans, 29% say masks should be worn always, and 23% say they should be worn most of the time. "People touch them.