Games are taking place in Tuscaloosa and infected people are invited to attend so others can intentionally contract the virus, city council member Sonya McKinstry told CNN. She said she heard about the firefighter trend.
“We thought it was sort of a rumor at first. We did the research, not only did the doctors’ offices confirm it, but the state confirmed that they also had the same information, “she said.
In a presentation to city council this week, fire chief Randy Smith also said that city youth are hosting parties with payment if they catch a coronavirus, McKinstry said.
The first person confirmed by a doctor to have a coronavirus after the exposure earns money from ticket sales, she said. In the past few weeks, there have been several celebrations in and around the city, and probably more than officials have been unaware, she added.
“It makes me mad,” said McKinstry. “Furious that something so serious and deadly is taken for granted. Not only is it irresponsible, but you can get the virus and take it home to your parents or grandparents. ”
The city is working to spread the word and break these parties. It also adopted a mask ordinance this week which will take effect on Monday.
“It is not political. It’s a public health issue. People are dying and there is no cure. We must do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, “said McKinstry.
CNN has contacted the Alabama health department for comment. The state has reported approximately 39,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nearly 1,000 deaths.