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 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.

"It has been brought to the attention of Walla Walla County Commissioners through the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health that social gatherings are beginning to occur. One of these gatherings had been reported initially as a 'coronavirus party' then later identified as a social gathering, such as a birthday party or Easter service. We are reviewing the facts around this incident."