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UArizona students host house party amid pandemic; Tucson city leaders consider new policy

Posted at 10:19 PM, Mar 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 14:31:15-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "No one got sick and we cleaned up after," said Jackson Sperbeck, who threw a house party over the weekend.

That house party that might change city policy in Tucson.

"We've got thousands of people sacrificing all over this community and for this 'it's all about me' type of folks to get together and do this kind of thing they don't have the right to put the rest of us and the community at risk for community spread," said Ward 6 Councilman, Steve Kozachik.

Kozachik told KGUN9 he's taking these kinds of gatherings very seriously, especially during a global health crisis.

"I've been in touch with the City Manager and the Chief of police. we are going to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for this."

Sperbeck, who told KGUN9, he's graduating from the University of Arizona in May, said he and buddies took the proper precautions.

"We wiped down all our counters, we have a beer table, we wiped that with 'Clorox' wipes," Spurbeck said.

"We made sure that no one was sharing any bottles."

He added, it's their home and they're willing to take the risk.

"We did it anyway and I don't feel bad about it," he said.

"I'm not sorry about it, but I am for sure aware that there's a pandemic going on right now in this country and the world and that we have to be careful."

It's not a risk Councilman Kozachik said he's willing to take.

As a response, he said he's going to order the enforcement of an existing "red tag ordinance."

It's a rule that any unruly gathering of five or more people, even on private property, that causes a disturbance to others will result in a fine of at least $500 to each person involved.

"TPD is putting together, at my request, a press release right now to put out so that people understand that we're not putting up with this," Kozachik said.

According to Kozachik, police will release details of that order sometime this week.