Officials: COVID-19 positive young people party instead of quarantining in Tuscaloosa

Updated: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:48 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Chief Randy Smith said there’s evidence young people in the area, who may be students, are going out to party after they’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

Chief Smith made the comments during Tuesday’s pre-council meetings with the Tuscaloosa City Council.

Smith said the partying was happening in the city of Tuscaloosa and the surrounding county for the past few weeks at several locations.

Smith said after investigating the claims local doctors and the state confirmed the same information.

Wednesday morning on Good Day Alabama Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said they don’t know if those young people are in fact students, but he wishes they made better decisions.

“Unfortunately I don’t believe that they’re taking this as seriously as they need to be, especially because in Tuscaloosa, probably like in a lot of places in Alabama, the spread is asymptomatic,” Mayor Maddox explained.

City officials did not identify who those people are who tested positive or if the attended any of the colleges or schools in the Tuscaloosa area.

Below is a statement from The University of Alabama:

We have been aware for weeks of the rumors about COVID parties. We conducted a thorough investigation, and although we have been unable to identify any students who may have participated in these types of activities, we will continue to follow up on any information we receive and educate our students about essential precautions.

Our students want a return to on-campus instruction and the extracurricular opportunities they enjoy, and we fully expect them to safeguard their personal health and safety and that of everyone at the university and in our city.

The University of Alabama is unwavering in its commitment to the safety and well-being of our community. We have in place strict rules about on-campus activities and will enforce them stringently.

Prior to the return of our students, all will participate in a detailed education and health module.

We will test every student before they return to campus, along with all faculty and staff, at no cost to them. When we reopen in August, we will have mask rules, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning, sentinel and symptomatic testing, and multiple other health and safety measures developed in conjunction with the world-renowned medical experts at UAB and others throughout the University of Alabama System.

It is essential that students cooperate and comply with these guidelines to allow for the safe return and continued operations of our campus.

Details about the University’s plans can be found at We ask anyone with information about inappropriate behavior to contact the UA Office of Student Conduct immediately.

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