Roughly a couple hundred people violated coronavirus regulations in Columbia, S.C., to attend an over-crowded pool party near the University of South Carolina (USC) on Saturday, reports The State.
“It was almost like Mardi Gras,” Columbia Fire Department’s Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins told the newspaper. After receiving calls from concerned neighbors, the department broke up the crowd around 6 p.m.
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, “there still would have been too many people in the pool,” Jenkins added. “Nobody was practicing social distancing. Nobody was wearing a mask. But there was lots of drinking going on.”
According to Jenkins, party-goers crowded the pool and the surrounding area, with some standing on top of the pool house. Even though not wearing a mask is a civil infraction with a possible fine of up to $25 in Columbia, the department only issued warnings instead of fines.
Meanwhile, USC spokesman Jeff Stensland told The State that the university was glad the fire department took action.
“We’ve done a lot of outreach to try and get the students to do the right thing,” Stensland said. According the the university, at least 620 students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the week since classes began on Aug. 20.