‘It Was Almost Like Mardi Gras’: Fire Department Breaks Up Party Near South Carolina University

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Columbia, South Carolina officials broke up a party near the University of South Carolina that was not adhering to COVID rules Saturday, according to local news outlet The State.

Citizens reported a large party taking place at the Apartments at Palmetto Compress to the Columbia Fire Department, Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins of the Columbia Fire Department told The State. Jenkins said a couple hundred people were at the pool, according to The State.

“If nothing was going on (like the COVID-19 pandemic), there still would have been too many people in the pool,” Jenkins said, according to The State.

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“Nobody was practicing social distancing. Nobody was wearing a mask. But there was lots of drinking going on,” Jenkins continued, according to The State.

“It was almost like Mardi Gras,” Jenkins said, according to The State.

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Those who attended the party received a warning and were not fined, but that won’t happen again if the fire department has to come back, Jenkins said, according to The State. Under a local ordinance, an individual who does not comply with the city’s mask mandate receives a warning, and faces a $25 fine on the second offense, The State reported in early August.

Employees at retail stores, grocery stores, salons and pharmacies are required to wear masks when they are helping people face-to-face in public, The State reported. Any business owner or supervisor could face a $100 fine for each day that rule is not being followed, according to The State.

“I saw a large crowd in the pool, in the area on the side of the pool, and on top of the pool house,” Jenkins continued, according to The State.

“We’re grateful for the partnership we have with City of Columbia and fully support their decision to take actions to protect public safety,” The University of South Carolina said in a statement, according to NEWS19.

Jenkins said when he arrived at around 6 p.m., at least 200 people were at the pool and weren’t wearing masks or social distancing, according to NEWS19.

“We have engaged with private apartment complexes for months to educate them on safe public health standards. Unfortunately, some have chosen not to manage their properties appropriately to protect the community,” the statement continued, according to NEWS19 and asked students to be responsible and stay away from “situations where social distancing isn’t possible.”

Colleges across the U.S. are taking precautions in order to prevent spreading the coronavirus. The Ohio State University temporarily suspended more than 200 students for violating COVID-19 rules regarding social distancing, according to news outlet cleveland.com.

The University of South Carolina and the Columbia Fire Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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