A family has been left devastated after two high school sweethearts died on the same day due to Covid-19.
Alvaro Fernandez, 44, and his wife Sylvia, 42, from Southern California, died within hours of each other on December 19.
The couple were married for 25 years after getting together when they were 15 and had four children, including 17-year-old twins.
Both tested positive for coronavirus days earlier, according to family members. Neither had been vaccinated.
Alvaro’s sister Alma Hernandez told NBC Los Angeles her brother had declined to have the shot despite suffering from underlying health conditions, including diabetes.
She said: ‘He wanted to wait and do more research. He Googled information. He didn’t want to believe everything that was on the news.
‘This is kind of an eye opener for everybody in my family that whoever is not vaccinated definitely should have their vaccines.’
Sylvia was said to have been more open to getting jabbed, but simply did not get her first dose in time.
Her brother-in-law Salvador Fernandez told NBC the couple were ‘very close’, adding: ‘One couldn’t live without the other, you know? The same day my brother died, she died.’
Relatives started a fundraising page to support their four children, with thousands of dollars of donations already pouring in.
The spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant has driven Covid-19 cases in the United States to a record high, with health experts and political leaders urging Americans brace themselves for severe disruptions as hospitals, schools and other sectors start coming under pressure.
For the second day in a row, the US posted a record number of new reported cases based on the seven-day average, with more than 290,000 new infections reported each on Thursday and Friday.
At least 18 states, along with Puerto Rico, have set pandemic records for new cases.
Maryland, Ohio and Washington DC also saw record hospital admissions as overall Covid-19 hospitalisations rose by 27%.
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