‘It was only a couple of hours’: 18 members of Texas family get COVID-19 after surprise party


CARROLLTON, Texas (WJW) – A family in Texas says 18 relatives were diagnosed with COVID-19 after some of them attended a surprise birthday party.

WFAA reports the infection began May 30 with one family member who unknowingly had the virus. He had a slight cough but thought it was due to his job in construction.

He interacted at the party with seven others, who contracted the virus and spread it to another 10 relatives.

Relative Ron Barbosa, a volunteer EMT who is married to a doctor, said he and his wife didn’t go to the party due to safety issues. He said the party lasted “only a couple of hours” and everyone tried to social distance.

“When people started getting sick, we really let everyone have it,” he told WFAA. “We knew this was going to happen. I mean this whole time this has been going on we’ve been terrified.”

Among those who contracted COVID-19 were two children, two grandparents, a cancer patient and Barbosa’s parents, who are in their 80s. His parents and sister, Kathy, who has breast cancer, are in the hospital.

Barbosa said his sister socially distanced outside on a porch but was still infected. She is doing better despite also simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

His father is in ICU on life support.

“My dad’s hanging on by a thread,” he said. “They’re saying this is one of the last straws.”

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