A family held a massive Christmas party despite one of them displaying a possible symptom of Covid-19 – before 18 of them came down with the virus.
The Reynolds family hosted a big Christmas bash which turned into a superspreader event and put two of them in hospital – one has been on a ward for nine days.
Some extended relatives travelled all the way from Canada for the bash on December 27, at Milmont Park, Pennsylvania.
Mum Darlene Reynolds told ABC 7 that her son Luke has only just been discharged from hospital.
But her husband, Stephen, is still on a hospital ward nine days since being admitted.
The huge Christmas bash went ahead despite Darlene admitting she woke up the previous day with a scratchy tickle in her throat.
Darlene told ABC 7: “I had no fever because I kept checking it – no fever, no fever, no fever. I said, I’ll keep a distance since I have a tiny little cough.”
Family members began arriving the next day for the Christmas get-together.
It was not long after that other party attendees began falling ill, along with Darlene.
Darlene added:”So we were sick, but we didn’t know we had Covid. We could’ve had the flu, but it was scary.
“We got tested, and we tested positive.
“And then my husband tested positive the next day.
“And then (my daughter) was getting sick and she tested positive and my son tested positive.”
In total, 18 relatives from the age of one to 62 came down with the bug after the party on December 27.
Worse affected is Darlene’s husband Stephen, who still requires hospital treatment and will need to receive oxygen when he is allowed back home.
Darlene’s daughter, Joy Purdie, said: “He’s headed in the right direction.
“He’ll need oxygen when he comes home.”
Stephen’s business was bailed out by a fellow kindly business owner, who has managed to raise money to help the family while he recovers.
His business, Mini Movers, was dealt a double blow when the company truck broke down.
But kind Samaritan Lisa Riggin of J. Riggin Painting heard about the Reynolds’ predicament via Facebook and raised $4,000 to help the family while Stephen recovers.
Lisa told ABC 7: “The truck’s been down for a month and they haven’t had income and I just don’t want to see them lose their home or their business.
‘”People are donating, not as much as I would like, but people are responding.
“We had a guy last night who donated $500.
“He doesn’t even know me or her.”