Family makes PSA about large family gatherings after 15 members contracted COVID-19

(City of Arlington, YouTube)

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ATLANTA (CNN) — Although the Aragonez family is still healing after a COVID-19 outbreak, they took the time to make a public service announcement warning against large family gatherings.

It's tradition for many families to gather during Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. But with the coronavirus global pandemic, those gatherings could turn Thanksgiving dinner into a superspreader event.

The Aragonez family is now living with the consequences of a large family gathering November 1; 15 members of the Arlington, Texas-based Aragonez family have since tested positive for the coronavirus.

All of the 12 people who were at the get-together tested positive for COVID-19, Alexa Aragonez said — four lived at the house and eight were visiting. She said those family members then infected another three, bringing the total to 15.

As an employee in the City of Arlington's communications and legislative affairs department, Aragonez said, she saw an opportunity to make the family's outbreak a teaching moment.

"We know that we messed up because we let our guard down," she said of her family. "We're not unlike a lot of families."

Aragonez said they just got comfortable and ended up paying the price.

Although she said her family had taken many precautions elsewhere, at the large family gathering, they stayed indoors and weren't wearing masks. COVID-19 is more likely to spread indoors than outdoors, according to health officials, who have also recommended that people wear masks inside when around people who do not live in their household.

At first, the family was skeptical of the idea of making a PSA, Aragonez said, but after some persuading, the family understood what it could do.

"It's in English and Spanish," she told CNN. "We need to make sure we're communicating in multiple avenues, tugging at the heartstrings of both."

Her mother, Enriqueta, participated in the PSA even while hospitalized with pneumonia, which had developed throughout her lungs.


"We're doing better," Alexa Aragonez told CNN. "My family is healing slowly but hopefully surely."

Enriqueta is out of the hospital but still has COVID-19 symptoms and is isolating from the rest of the family, according to her daughter.

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Paul P. Murphy


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