More than a dozen members of the same family in Texas have tested positive for the coronavirus following a family gathering where most if not all attendees did not wear masks.
A family member told NBC News in an interview that one person has died and another is on life support after a party in mid-June led to 14 members of the family testing positive for the virus. Tony Green, who hosted the party for his parents, told NBC that he woke up with symptoms the morning after the gathering.
“We just felt the worst was behind the country because everything was easy, things were reopening and none of us were experiencing any symptoms,” he told NBC.
Green did not provide the names of his family members but told NBC News that one elderly family member, his partner’s grandmother, had died after contracting the disease. Green’s father-in-law remains on life support.
Green has since launched a GoFundMe to help pay for his father-in-law’s medical expenses, though it was later closed after Green says his family members rejected the money.
He told NBC News that he regretted his decision to host the gathering for his parents.
“I cannot help but feel responsible for convincing our families it was safe to have a get-together,” Green said in the interview, adding, “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.”
Texas has seen its rate of new coronavirus cases surge in recent weeks and last week issued a new stay-at-home order as officials attempt to control the disease’s spread.
The state has now recorded nearly 400,000 cases of the virus and more than 5,000 deaths.