Breaking News
More () »

'Do whatever it takes': Relatives of youngest San Antonian to die from COVID-19 preach safety

Juan Hernandez passed away Monday at a hospital, a month after first exhibiting symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

SAN ANTONIO — Family and friends are mourning the loss of the youngest victim in San Antonio to die from coronavirus. 

According to the loved ones of Juan Hernandez, the 38-year-old died Monday at Northeast Baptist Hospital.

Robert Salcido said his friend was a good man.

"He had a big heart and was giving," he said. "It is unbelievable that we would lose somebody so young."

Hernandez was in the hospital for several weeks with a high fever, according to Salcido. 

"His lungs weren't properly working right," he said. "They had him on a ventilator. Because of the virus, nobody could be by his side."

Salcido said his friend got sick just after St. Patrick's Day and went to the doctor. He took medicine for a cold, but he still wasn't feeling better. Hernandez was later admitted to the hospital in late March. 

He lost his fight weeks later, on April 13.

"The fact this is happening to so many families—it is not a dream," Salcido said. 'It is reality."

Hernandez's loved ones now want to warn others, especially young San Antonians. 

"Take this seriously," Salcido said. "Stay home. Protect yourself if you have to go out. Wear your masks, wear your gloves, do whatever it takes to protect your loved ones. We can't take each other for granted, especially during these uncertain times."

According to the latest numbers from the city, more than half of the coronavirus cases in Bexar County are people aged 50 or under.

"Almost 40% of the people who turn up positive in our community are under 40 years old," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a briefing Thursday evening. "It bears repeating: No one is invincible from this."

Metro Health said the only person to die under 40 did have underlying health conditions.

If you would like to help the family with funeral expenses, click here.

RELATED: San Antonio will require face masks for most residents in public settings starting Monday

RELATED: Early results for Gilead coronavirus drug show patients recovering quickly

RELATED: Lawmakers debate whether Texans who fear catching coronavirus should be allowed to vote by mail

RELATED: New bill proposes distributing $2,000 check each month to Americans for coronavirus relief