Fourteen members of the same Texas family tested positive for COVID-19 after a small gathering held in June. One member of the family has died, and another is on life support.
Dallas resident Tony Green, 43, and his partner, who have been together for nine years, hosted a party for his in-laws on June 13. Green considers his partner’s family his in-laws even though they are not married.
Thinking that the “worst was behind the country,” neither Green, his partner, or his in-laws wore masks at the gathering, and they did not practice social distancing.
The next day, Green told NBC News that he began feeling sick, and by June 15, his partner and in-laws were ill. Green’s father-in-law, Rafael Ceja, is now on life support.
After the gathering in Dallas, his in-laws traveled to Austin for their grandchild’s birth, where ten more family members were infected. The newborn was not one of those that tested positive for COVID-19.
His father-in-law’s mother became ill sometime between June 17 and June 23, and sadly she passed away from COVID-19 and pneumonia on July 2 in the hospital room next to where her son was fighting for his life. Only 10 people were permitted to attend her funeral.
“I cannot help but feel responsible for convincing our families it was safe to have a get-together,” Green told NBC News. “I just don’t think that people are really paying enough attention to the safety protocols and to the things they can do to protect themselves a little better.”
On June 26, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott shut bars down after cases began to spike, and on July 2, he made it mandatory to wear masks in public in any county with 20 more cases of COVID-19, per the publication.
“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement announcing the executive order making masks mandatory.