EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Josie Pacheco says her family felt symptoms of COVID-19 back in July and decided to quarantine inside their El Paso home but didn’t get tested. However, while they were quarantining, her 40-year-old son, Salvador Pacheco, died.
They later found out it was COVID-19.
“At that time, we were all feeling it. I mean us three, my husband, myself, and Sal, which is the one who passed away,” said Pacheco. “We were all feeling the same symptoms. You know we started with the headaches and some coughing, and then I still thought no, it’s just allergies.”
Pacheco says her family was following quarantine guidelines, and after a few days, they felt most of the symptoms associated with the virus but did not get tested to confirm.
“My son that passed away, he was between jobs, so he was here at home, you know, full time,” said Pacheco.
She says it took several weeks to receive a death certificate, but the family eventually confirmed that his death was due to COVID-19.
“He was overweight,” said Pacheco. “The fact that he died of COVID was just from complications of pre-existing conditions.”
Shortly after the passing of her son she got a call from the City Health Department asking her to come and get tested.
“That was about two weeks after I started recovering, and this was late July, so I went. My daughter and I went because we were both called in, and we asked, ‘Well, how did you or why did you?’ and they say because of your contacts,” said Pacheco.
The taskforce told her someone she came in contact with gave her information. However, even after two weeks in quarantine, she still tested positive and was asked to continue quarantine for 10 more days.
Dr. Armando Meza, an Infectious Disease Specialist in El Paso, says if you have symptoms and choose not to get tested, it is important to make sure you quarantine for the proper amount of time.
“We know that 14 days is probably the safest length of time,” said Dr. Meza. “Because you know that the virus will be probably around, especially before two, three days before the symptoms to the time the symptoms occur, and then a couple of days after that’s when the virus is going to be highly replicating.
Adding that with a total of 37,840 active cases reported in El Paso on Friday, Dr. Meza says the community needs to be cautious.
“If you take any risk such as not wearing a face mask, not keep social distancing or being exposed to a place repeatedly where there is a lot of crowed congregation you are going to have the highest risk right now of becoming infected,” said Dr. Meza.