‘COVID parties’ spreading virus in SE Washington

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Authorities say some people are intentionally flouting health recommendations by exposing themselves and others to the coronavirus at “COVID parties” in southeastern Washington state.

Meghan DeBolt, director of Walla Walla County’s Department of Community Health, told the Union-Bulletin this week that contact tracing has revealed that some are attending gatherings with the idea that it is better to get sick with the virus and get it over with. New positive test results in the county have resulted from such parties.

“We ask about contacts, and there are 25 people because: ‘We were at a COVID party,’” DeBolt said.

Washington State Department of Health officials on Wednesday released a statement saying gathering in groups in the midst of this pandemic can be incredibly dangerous and puts people at increased risk for hospitalization and death.