Family Warns Others After 42 People at Funeral Catch Virus

Mourners ages 3 to 90 test positive after Texas superspreader event
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2020 3:17 PM CST
Family Warns Others After 42 People at Funeral Catch Virus
Medical personnel watch over COVID-19 patients in McAllen, Texas, this summer.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

More than 100 people packed the pews in a Texas funeral home this month to honor Nancy Kaddatz. So many people loved her mother, Delynda Cruz said. Now 42 of those people have tested positive for the coronavirus—including Cruz. The youngest patient is 3 and the oldest 90, KDFW reports. "We definitely want other people to learn from what we didn't know was a mistake," Cruz said. Most people wore masks for the indoor service, she said, but social distancing wasn't followed. She's troubled that the service turned into a superspreader event: "It was frightening knowing that I could've been the one that gave my 90-year-old aunt," Cruz said. "Or I could've been the one that gave the 3-year-old, or I could've been the one that gave my cousin that's fighting for his life."

The state health department is conducting contact tracing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said funerals need to be reconsidered during the pandemic. The Hillsboro funeral home, which is supposed to operate at 75% capacity, would not comment. "In some situations, many people have become sick with COVID-19 after attending a funeral service," CDC guidance says. Texas has reported more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and more than 21,630 deaths, per Fox News. Cruz developed symptoms two days after the Nov. 8 service. "I got chills on Tuesday night," she said, "and then Wednesday morning I ran a little bit of a fever." Cruz said she still has a hard time with basic tasks at home. (More coronavirus stories.)

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