Health leaders warn against ‘COVID-19 parties’

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WALLA WALLA, Washington (WJW) – Because COVID-19 is such a new virus, it is still unknown if a person has immunity if they get it. 

But that hasn’t stopped people from attending “COVID-19 parties.”

Authorities in Walla Walla county in Washington state say they’re seeing a rise in coronavirus cases because of people trying to intentionally get infected.

The “party” is where healthy people mingle with infected people to try and get the virus with the idea that they will then have immunity.

“Health officials stress that there is much we don’t know about COVID-19,” Walla Walla leaders said in a press release. “Epidemiologists don’t know if immunity is a sure thing, if reinfection is possible, or if [the] virus could continue living inside you. They do know that even the young can be hospitalized, survivors may suffer long-term damage, and even a ‘mild’ case isn’t mild.”

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County health leader says they’ve learned about the parties due to contact tracing, where infected people tell them about the gatherings and other places they’ve been.

“We don’t know when it is happening. It’s after the fact that we hear from cases. We ask about contacts, and there are 25 people because: ‘We were at a COVID party,'” Walla Wall Health Director Meghan DeBolt told the Union Bulletin.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear warned people against attending the parties after a new confirmed case was linked to one of them. 

“Don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people. We ought to be much better than that,” Gov. Beshear said. 

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