The Columbia (SC) Fire Department had to break up an overcrowded pool party where hundreds of revelers ignored the city’s mask ordinance and social distancing mandates.
At about 6 p.m. on Saturday, the fire department got tips from concerned citizens about a massive pool party at The Apartments at Palmetto Compress, Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins told The State. “It was almost like Mardi Gras,” Jenkins said of the scene at the apartment complex that’s on Devine Street, near the intersection of Blossom and Huger streets. “I saw a large crowd in the pool, in the area on the side of the pool, and on top of the pool house.”
“If nothing was going on (like the COVID-19 pandemic), there still would have been too many people in the pool,” Jenkins said. “Nobody was practicing social distancing. Nobody was wearing a mask. But there was lots of drinking going on.”
Jenkins said he got in touch with the apartment’s management and security, telling them he was breaking up the party and was ordering the pool closed until he returns to verify the pool area’s capacity.
He is going to recommend keeping the pool shut for the foreseeable future as a safety precaution during the coronavirus pandemic.
When he was getting the crowd to disperse, Jenkins said he was shocked that one person told him “I can’t catch COVID. I’m immune to the stuff.”