15 members of one North Texas family get COVID-19 after some of them attend small birthday party

Tarrant County continues to report a high number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

On Sunday, more than 1,500 new cases were reported in Tarrant County.

One Arlington family knows firsthand the impacts of how fast the virus can spread.

With Thanksgiving just days away, the Aragonez family is sharing their coronavirus message before people decide to spend the holiday with groups of people.

The coronavirus pandemic has proven that one get-together, even if it’s just close family, can immediately change lives.

Those in the Aragonez family in Arlington are no strangers to spending time together.

Earlier this month, 12 of them gathered to celebrate a birthday.

“We don’t go to restaurants, we don’t really party,” Alexa Aragonez said. “We all go to work and come home and we thought that staying in our close, nuclear cell of folks would keep us safe, and that was not the case.”

Alexa dropped off her 57-year-old mother at her cousin’s house.

In less than three days, multiple people had symptoms of COVID-19.

From ages that ranged from 8 to 57, there were 15 family members who tested positive.

Alexa's mother had to go to the hospital. She was released Thursday.

“Whenever she went to the hospital, it was devastating to all of us. We felt guilty for exposing her to the virus,” Alexa said. “My mother is finally back home. She does not need oxygen, thankfully, but she still as pneumonia and pain in her chest. She still doesn't have a taste or smell.”

Tarrant County has now reported 81,600 total cases of the coronavirus, and there are 765 people in the county’s hospitals.

Critics of the virus continue to say a vast majority of people recover after being infected.

While that is true, it doesn’t lessen the severity of the virus for thousands of families who have experienced deaths in Texas.

“We know that the survival rate is very high, but one life lost is one too many. And many of the survivors are having long-term complications that will affect them for the rest of their life,” Alexa explained.

With Thanksgiving just days away, health officials want people to celebrate the holiday with only those who live in their home.

“Maintain social distance. Use a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Wash your hands often. Please stay at home. Please protect yourselves, its real,” one health official said.

For the North Texas region, nearly 14% of all hospital beds are occupied with people that have COVID-19.


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Interactive map of Texas COVID-19 cases