18 Members of Texas Family Test Positive After Party

3 are still seriously ill with COVID-19 weeks later
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2020 3:25 AM CDT
After Birthday Party, 18 Family Members Test Positive for COVID
Cars are lined up at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Texas EMT Ron Barbosa says COVID-19 swept through his extended family after a single infected relative attended a surprise party for his daughter-in-law's 30th birthday. Barbosa says seven relatives were infected at the party, which around 25 people attended for various amounts of time, and they went on to infect another 11 family members, the Dallas Morning News reports. "It was only a couple of hours," Barbosa says. "But during that brief time, somehow the other 18 family members are now infected with COVID." Barbosa says his parents, who are in their 80s, and his sister, who has breast cancer, are still hospitalized almost a month after the May 30 party, but other relatives are recovering. The family is encouraging anyone with COVID-19 antibodies to donate blood.

Texas has not limited gathering sizes during the pandemic but Barbosa, whose wife is a doctor, says they did not attend the party because they feared it would be unsafe. "We knew this was going to happen, I mean this whole time this has been going on we've been terrified," he tells WFAA. He says the unknowingly infected relative who attended the party was a construction worker who thought his mild cough was work-related. In California, which has prohibited large indoor gatherings, health officials in Shasta County say a cluster of around a dozen cases was the result of a man attending a "large family gathering" despite showing coronavirus symptoms, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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