New Washington state coronavirus cases linked to 'COVID-19 parties,' officials say

Health officials say so-called "COVID-19 parties" may be causing an increase in new coronavirus cases in Walla Walla County, Wash., and pushing back efforts to reopen, according to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

The county's health officials began receiving reports of COVID-19 parties, during which people not infected with the coronavirus would interact with a person who has been infected in an effort to contract the virus.

Health experts do not know if people who contract the new coronavirus and fight it off become immune or if reinfection is possible, Meghan DeBolt, director of the county's community health department, told the Union-Bulletin.

The county has 94 cases of the disease.

"We don't know when it is happening," Ms. DeBolt said, according to the Union-Bulletin. "It's after the fact that we hear from cases. We ask about contacts, and there are 25 people (saying) because 'we were at a COVID party.'"

The county's community health department said it will team up with police to crack down on the parties.

"(These parties) will delay our community being able to reopen and get our economy operating," Ms. DeBolt said, according to the report.


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