Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Officials in an Alabama city say several college students organized “COVID-19” parties as a contest to see who would get the virus first.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry says students hosted the parties to intentionally infect each other with the new coronavirus.

McKinstry says party organizers purposely invited guests who tested positive for COVID-19.

She says the students put money in a pot and whoever got COVID first would get the cash. Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith confirmed the information to the City Council on Tuesday.

Smith didn’t say whether actions would be taken against the students. He also didn’t say which schools the students attend.

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