More than 40 members of the same family have tested positive for coronavirus after an infected relative knowingly traveled in from another state to attend a funeral in Kentucky.
Polly Williams, of Kermit, West Virginia, says she was desperately saddened to learn of the death of her cousin on June 30, but the scenes that have transpired in the weeks since her funeral have been nothing short of her ‘worst nightmare’.
Williams and a dozen or so other members of her family came together on July 2 in nearby Dunlow to mourn the loss of Keenetha Brige.
One of the attendees, Williams learned, would be travelling in from Arizona to be with the family and assist them with funeral arrangements.
What she wasn’t told, however, was that the attendee’s husband and son – who didn’t make the trip – had tested positive for coronavirus days before she arrived and she too was exhibiting symptoms.
‘My relative from out-of-state wasn’t feeling well, but I didn’t think a lot about it,’ Williams told the Mountain Citizen, declining to identify the relative by name. ‘I figured she was tired from her flight and lack of sleep. She never said one word about fearing her illness was something serious.’
Polly Williams, of Kermit, West Virginia, says she was desperately saddened to learn of the death of her cousin on June 30, but the scenes that have transpired in the weeks since her funeral have been nothing short of her ‘worst nightmare’
Williams (left) and a dozen or so other members of her family came together on July 2 in nearby Dunlow to mourn the loss of Keenetha Brige (right)
Unaware of the seriousness of her relative’s condition, Williams said none of her family members wore masks either before the funeral, during the service, or at the wake.
Gradually, over the next few days, Williams said her relative’s condition slowly began to worsen. She supposedly had to seek medical attention, however failed to inform her family about it.
During that time, William’s mother, Melvina Case, went to the home of the grieving family where the infected relative was staying to drop off supplies, staying for a short time.
Williams and her sister, Stella Brewer, also made a supplies run to the home, staying for five hours afterwards. Numerous other relatives and neighbors made similar visits, according to the sisters.
On the morning of her cousin’s wake, which a small number of family and friends attended, Williams said she received a message from the relative’s husband that he and their son had tested positive for COVID-19 days earlier.
‘By the day of the wake, a young child in our family that had been in the home where my relative was staying, was the first among us to be positive. And so it began,’ Williams said.
From there, she says the virus began ‘spreading like wildfire’ among those who attended the funeral and beyond.
Williams said that now over 40 of her family members and a few friends have tested positive for COVID-19.
Those infected ranged from five-month-old twins up to a 77-year-old woman.
Both Williams and Brewer also tested positive for coronavirus, and have since recovered. Their mother, Melvina Case, is still battling the deadly disease.
Their mother, Melvina Case (left), is still battling the deadly disease. She was rushed to hospital on Monday but has since been