'COVID-19 parties' being held in Washington to spread infection: health officials
Group of young men toasting at a nightclub (Shutterstock.com)

Health officials in Walla Walla, Washington revealed this week that residents are holding "COVID-19 parties" in an effort to spread infections.

"Walla Walla County health officials are receiving reports of COVID-19 parties occurring in our community, where noninfected people mingle with an infected person in an effort to catch the virus," the Walla Walla Department of Health said in a statement on Tuesday.

"While some people with COVID-19 are considered to have mild symptoms, others are at higher risk for severe illness," the statement noted. "Health officials stress that there is much we don’t know about COVID-19. Epidemiologist don’t know if immunity is a sure thing, if reinfection is possible, or if 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."

Meghan DeBolt from Department of Community Health told KEPR that coronavirus parties "are not part of the solution."

"They are taking it in the opposite direction because that will lead to an outbreak and every outbreak that we have sets us further away from reopening important social areas of the economy," she explained.