Some Americans are hosting “COVID-19 parties” in a boneheaded effort to intentionally catch the deadly virus, officials warned this week.
The Washington state county of Walla Walla reported a new trend has emerged in which healthy individuals hang out with an infected person in hopes of contracting and then overcoming the infectious disease.
“Walla Walla County health officials are receiving reports of COVID-19 parties occurring in our community, where non-infected people mingle with an infected person in an effort to catch the virus,” the county said Tuesday in a press release.
Meghan DeBolt, director of the county Department of Community Health, said they learned about the asinine covidiot practice while conducting contact tracing.
There have been at least 25 people who have come down with the virus after attending these dangerous functions, she said.
“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,’” DeBolt told the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
“It’s unacceptable. It’s irresponsible.”
DeBolt, however, walked back her comments Thursday, insisting no one was trying to deliberately gain immunity.
“After receiving further information, we have discovered that there were not intentional COVID parties. Just innocent endeavors,” she said in a statement.
Her initial warning prompted the state health department to issue a statement condemning the gatherings.
“There is still a lot we don’t know about this virus, including any long-term health issues which may occur after infection,” state Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in the statement. “This kind of unnecessary behavior may create a preventable uptick in cases, which further slows our state’s ability to gradually re-open.”