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San Antonio

30-Year-Old Dies After Attending 'COVID-19 Party' In San Antonio

Joey Palacios | Texas Public Radio
The 30-year-old patient was hospitalized for COVID-19 at Methodist Hospital.

A 30-year-old man has died from coronavirus in San Antonio after attending a “COVID-19 party." The event was intended to test the validity of the virus’s spread.

According to Dr. Jane Appleby, Chief Medical Officer of Methodist Hospital, the patient told his nurse ‘I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.’”

Appleby said that San Antonio is seeing a broader range of ages affected by the virus.

“What we’ve learned about this virus is that it doesn’t discriminate, and none of us are invincible,” she said.

As the total number of COVID-19 cases in the San Antonio area has increased, so has the percentage of young patients. More than half of the total cases in the area are people in their 30s or younger.

“We definitely have seen a shift toward younger people, as compared to what we were seeing back in March and April,” said Paul Hancock, chief medical officer of Methodist Healthcare, of recent hospitalizations, at one of the city’s COVID-19 briefings last week. “We’re also seeing patients that were sicker than we saw back then.”

Of the 19,137 total cases in San Antonio, 20.1% are in their 30s, 24.2% are in their 20s and 12.1% are 19 or younger. These statistics contradict the expectations of COVID-19, which was predicted to put older people at a higher risk of infection.

Along with an increase in hospitalizations of young people, there has also been an increase in deaths of young people — though the percentage is much lower. Of the area’s 175 deaths, 2.9% were in their 30s, 0.6% were in their 20s and 1.1% were 19 or younger.

Appleby described some younger deaths as “potentially avoidable,” since older people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk. She advised people to follow the usual ritual of social distancing, sanitizing and wearing a mask.

“We care deeply about the citizens of San Antonio, Texas, and we are here to help you. At the same time, we hope that you don’t need our help,” she said.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon.

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