Walla Walla County now says no coronavirus parties occurred

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in a county in southeastern Washington state are retracting their claim that some people in held parties in which they intentionally exposed themselves to the coronavirus.

Walla Walla County Department of Community Health Director Meghan DeBolt issued a statement late Wednesday saying her earlier remarks were incorrect.

“”I formally call back my interview today,″ DeBolt said in the new statement. “”After receiving further information, we have discovered that there were not intentional covid parties. Just innocent endeavors.”

DeBolt had told the Union-Bulletin newspaper this week that contact tracing has revealed some people were attending parties with the idea that it is better to get sick with COVID-19 and recover. She called the parties irresponsible.

Her earlier comments prompted Washington State Department of Health officials on Wednesday to release 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 even death.

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