The photos are very 2019: A pool packed with young bodies and littered with empty cans, with nary a mask in sight (see them here). Except they were taken by South Carolina's Columbia Fire Department on Saturday as they broke up a pool party that the State reports was attended by hundreds of people who weren't abiding by Columbia's mask and social distancing mandates. "It was almost like Mardi Gras," Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said of what the fire department encountered at the Apartments at Palmetto Compress around 6pm after receiving a tip.
How crowded was it? Jenkins described crowds in the pool, along the pool, and atop the pool house, and said even if there wasn't a pandemic "there still would have been too many people in the pool." Everyone was dismissed with a warning—including the partygoer who told Jenkins, "I can’t catch COVID. I’m immune to the stuff." WISTV reports Jenkins was to meet with the building managers Monday and said he plans to recommend that the apartment complex's pool remain closed for the time being. "It was a perfect storm if anyone had the virus to be passed to one another," Jenkins said. WTLX notes the apartment complex is close to the University of South Carolina and confirms that many students live there. WISTV reports the school had logged 557 cases as of Friday. (Another pool party got a bit of attention lately.)