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CARROLLTON, Texas – A surprise birthday party held by a family in North Texas late last month has been linked to 18 cases of COVID-19 in the family, according to WFAA.

Ron Barbosa, a volunteer EMT who is married to a doctor, told WFAA that he and his wife refused to go when his family threw a party May 30 for his daughter-in-law, who turned 30.

“When people started getting sick, we really let everyone have it,” Barbosa told WFAA. “We knew this was going to happen, I mean this whole time this has been going on we’ve been terrified.”

Barbosa said his nephew, who hosted the party, had a slight cough that he thought he’d gotten from working construction. Later, the family learned he had COVID-19, WFAA reported.

“(The party) wasn’t that long. It was only a couple of hours. But during that brief time, somehow the other 18 family members are now infected with COVID,” Barbosa told WFAA.

Among those who fell ill are Barbosa’s parents, who are in their 80s, and his sister, who is battling breast cancer, according to WFAA. Barbosa’s mother, Carole, has been hospitalized since June 13 while his father, Frank, was hospitalized June 17 and has since been placed on life support.

Barbosa said his relatives were horrified to know that they spread the novel coronavirus.

“People couldn’t believe that they took it to a family member,” he told WFAA. “But now, we’re holding on together.”

As of Wednesday, the most recent date for which data was available, nearly 126,000 people had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Texas, according to state health officials. Authorities said 2,249 people have died statewide of the viral infection.


Health officials said Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, that the first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the state. Twelve cases of the deadly virus have been reported nationwide.