ARLINGTON, Texas – Arlington is using one family's brush with the coronavirus as a warning to others who might be considering big get-togethers this Thanksgiving.
Alexa Aragonez told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that her family weighed the risks of catching the virus but decided to get together for a birthday party on Nov. 1.
A couple of days after the party, her 57-year-old mother, Enriqueta Aragonez, and others who were at the party began to feel sick. They got tested, and all 12 who had attended were positive for COVID-19. Three other people with whom they had come in contact with also tested positive, said Alexa Aragonez, 26, who didn't attend the party.
Arlington is using the family’s experience as part of a public awareness campaign to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus this holiday season by staying home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also warning people to not spend Thanksgiving with people from outside of their households and to not travel for the holiday.
Statewide, the Texas health department on Sunday reported 8,554 new virus cases, more than 4,000 less than the state's one-day high of 12,597 new virus cases a day earlier. The state on Sunday also reported 8,174 virus hospitalizations and 89 new deaths.
In a video that’s part of the campaign in Arlington, Enriqueta Aragonez is in her hospital and says, “I went to my nephew’s house and love seeing my family. But now I’m fighting against COVID-19.”
She is now recovering at home, and although she doesn't need supplemental oxygen, she still has pain in her lungs, Alexa Aragonez said. Most of the others who caught the virus at the party had milder symptoms, she said.
In the end, “not everyone is as lucky as my family has been,” Alexa told the Star-Telegram. She said she doesn’t want anyone to needlessly lose a family member.
“We were scared that my mother, the matriarch of the family, was going to pass,” she said. “So I think that fear in our hearts made us want to put an awareness in the hearts of others.”