The University of Alabama’s Kappa Delta sorority is staging a party for 600 people on Tuesday night, and its plans were approved by city officials even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate out of control.
Attendees will be subject to temperature checks and are expected to wear masks, even though it seems likely there will be rampant drinking
The Tuscaloosa city council voted 4-2 last week to approve the outdoor party at Black Warrior Farms, granting a special events retail license.
The university told the Daily Beast that the sorority will be required to follow “extensive rules and safety guidelines,” such as “a 30-minute pause between each group’s arrival/departure,” as well as sanitizing the venue.
“This party, especially the timing, is a recipe for disaster,” University of Alabama staffer Sabrina Snowberger told the Daily Beast. “And I’m worried people will infect or even lose family members or loved ones as a direct result of the virus spreading at this event.”
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
College towns have become hot spots for coronavirus transmission since students returned for the fall semester, likely importing infections from their hometowns around the country. Now, as students travel home for Thanksgiving, health officials are worried their travel will further fuel the record spread currently in the United States.
11,949. That’s how many coronavirus cases have been confirmed throughout the pandemic in Tuscaloosa County, according to Alabama Public Health. Almost 10% of those cases (1,137) have been reported in the past two weeks alone.
The U.S. is in the midst of the largest coronavirus spike yet seen in any country. More than 160,000 new cases are now being recorded, on average, every day, according to Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalizations are also skyrocketing to record highs. A new record has been set every day for a week straight, according to The COVID Tracking Project, with Monday being the first time the country passed the 70,000 hospitalizations mark. Deaths are also spiking across the U.S., now averaging more than 1,000 per day, according to The COVID Tracking Project.