There might be joke or troll posts online claiming these parties exist but there is no hard evidence.
Sonya McKinstry "said she heard about the trend from fire officials".
Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council on Tuesday
that he has confirmed the students' careless behavior. ... "We thought
that was kind of a rumor at first," Smith told the council members.
"We did some research. Not only do the doctors' offices confirm it but
the state confirmed they also had the same information."
Lengthier quote from fire chief:
Tuscaloosa fire chief Randy Smith told the city council that his department had heard about parties “where students or kids would come in with known positives.” It sounded like just a rumor, Smith said, but “not only did the doctors’ offices help confirm it, but the state also confirmed they had the same information.”
You’ll notice immediately that Smith didn’t say anything about people trying to get sick, let alone betting on who could do it first. So why is everyone saying that’s what happened?
"State Health Officer Scott Harris said he had seen the news story
about the reported parties, but could not officially confirm it."
Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty, a local physician, was quoted by the
Tuscaloosa News as saying that there had been rumors of parties for
about a month. “While my nursing staff was triaging patients for
COVID-19 swabbing, they were told about the COVID-19 house parties and
were even shown videos of the parties by college students,” Peramsetty
said. “When students are called for results, we noticed that some were
very excited and happy that they were positive, while others were very
upset that they were negative.”
The University of Alabama claims to have investigated and found nothing.
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.
To my knowledge, at the time of writing, no-one has produced any evidence such as invites, tickets, or students.
In May, Walla Walla County in Washington State had similar rumors:
Walla Walla County has walked back their previous statements about
COVID-19 “parties” taking place in the area. ... Late Wednesday, the
county walked back their initial statements saying that they now
believe the parties were innocent gatherings.
The state Department of Health is still alarmed by these types of
reports, in Bellevue a number of KIRO 7 viewers reported spotting a
similar offer for a “play date” with three contagious children
recently posted on Nextdoor.
“I have three young kids who are currently contagious,” the post read.
“If you would like your kids immunized, let me know and we can make
arrangements for a play date.”
"Just can't be possible, others thought it was a joke,” said neighbor
Heija, who told us the post was later removed. "This is not something
to be trifled with and it certainly isn't an experiment to do with