- 15 family members in Arlington, Texas said they tested positive for the coronavirus after a small birthday gathering, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WFFA reported.
- The relatives urged the public to not "be like my family and ignore the CDC guidelines" in a video that was posted to the City of Arlington's Twitter account.
- The family's warning comes ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday, which is typically a time for families to gather. The CDC is recommending against travel during the US holiday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Over a dozen members of a family in Arlington, Texas said they tested positive for the coronavirus following a small gathering for a birthday, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Alexa Aragonez told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a dozen of her family members gathered for a small indoor birthday gathering in early November. She herself did not attend the party but said that the family met to celebrate a relative's birthday, according to The Star-Telegram.
After the gathering, a few members were "feeling ill," and all family members decided to get tested for the coronavirus, Aragonez told WFFA. 15 family members — all 12 attendees of the party and three additional individuals — tested positive for the coronavirus, The Star-Telegram reported. Aragonez's mother was the only member who was hospitalized, WFFA reported.
"We took every single precaution, with the exception of gathering," Aragonez told WFFA. "We'd like to share the message that you are not immune. Your family is not immune. But by staying at home, you can prevent the spread of COVID-19."
The Aragonez family members shared a video through the City of Arlington's Twitter account, asking the public to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Please, don't be like my family and ignore the CDC guidelines," Aragonez said.
The message came as several states have tightened restrictions on travel and gatherings ahead of the US holiday season and the US experiences a record-breaking surge of coronavirus infections. According to a recent national survey, nearly 40% of Americans plan to host Thanksgiving get-togethers with at least 10 people.
Both top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci — whose own children won't be visiting him for Thanksgiving to protect the septuagenarian from the virus — and the CDC's Director Robert Redfield have warned that small indoor gatherings are driving an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country. The CDC recommends that people host gatherings outdoors if possible.
Notably, over 50% of coronavirus transmission comes from those who are asymptomatic, according to the CDC. Fauci warned that "innocent occurrences such as groups of friends and family meeting indoors because of the cold weather for dinner are becoming a major source of asymptomatic spread," as Business Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen previously reported.
"These innocent family and friends gatherings: six, eight, 10 people come together in someone's home, you get one person who's asymptomatic and infected, and then all of a sudden four or five people in that gathering are infected," Fauci said last month. "That's the exact scenario that you're going to see in Thanksgiving."
"The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members, from coming together in this family gathering, actually could end up being hospitalized and severely ill and die," CDC's coronavirus incident manager said last week, Business Insider's Hillary Brueck previously reported.
As the White House coronavirus task force showed this past week, coronavirus outbreaks are sweeping the country as the US passes a total of 12 million confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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