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'I thought this was a hoax' | 30-year-old patient dies in local hospital after attending 'COVID Party'

"The thought is that people get together to see if the virus is real if anyone gets infected," a hospital official said.

SAN ANTONIO — A 30-year-old patient died after attending what's being called a "COVID Party," said Methodist Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jane Appleby.

"This is a party held by someone diagnosed with the COVID virus, and the thought is that people get together to see if the virus is real if anyone gets infected," Appleby said. 

Appleby said she heard the heartbreaking story from a member of her staff this week.

"Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said, 'I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it's not,'" Appleby said. 

Appleby said several of their critically ill coronavirus patients are in their twenties and thirties. It's a growing trend seen across San Antonio.

During Friday night's briefing, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said young adults made up 25% of positive cases in Bexar County. 

"We're in a period of very high community transmission," Nirenberg said. "If you're having a party with people who aren't part of your social circle in your household, it has the potential to be a COVID party whether you like it or not."

Appleby said she's not trying to be an alarmist. She hopes this patient's case helps people realize the severity of what's going on around them. 

"This is just one example of a potentially avoidable death in a young member of our community and I can't imagine the loss of the family," Appleby said. "We're here to help you, at the same time, we hope that you don't need our help. Please wear a mask, stay at home when you can, avoid groups of people and sanitize your hands."

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