Students are reportedly throwing parties and whoever catches the virus from an infected person first, wins a cash prize. We thought that was kind of a rumor at first. But officials did not disclose what schools the students attended.
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told members that an investigation showed some students in the area had attended parties over the past few weeks despite knowing they had tested positive for the virus.
McKinstry told ABC News she fears that guests at future parties may not be aware of the true intention of the gatherings and could be exposed to the virus that has infected more than 2.6 million people and killed more than 128,000 others nationwide. "Not only did the doctor's offices help confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information", Smith told the city council on Tuesday, according to WBMA-TV.
Just hours after Smith's briefing, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings when out in public. "We did some additional research", he said.
Richard Rush, a city spokesman, said in a statement to ABC News that the city "is now working with local agencies and organizations to ensure that we do everything in our power to fight this pandemic".
"It's nonsense", McKinstry added.
Arrol Sheehan, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said the state's "Safer at Home Order" explicitly states that people who test positive "shall be quarantined to their place of residence for a period of 14 days".
More than 38,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed state-wide, and at least 947 people have died of the illness.
Under the extended orders, gyms, entertainment venues, child care facilities and barbershops are required to follow sanitation and social distancing rules. Retail stores are allowed to open with a 50% occupancy rate.
"Personal responsibility means it is everyone's responsibility", Ivey said at a Wednesday news conference.
Wearing face coverings has been suggested by state officials, but it hasn't been mandated.
"We know face coverings aren't flawless and they don't stop everything", Harris said.