Just days after the Winter Party Festival announced that attendees reported being diagnosed with COVID-19, one of the event-goers has died.
Israel Carreras, 40, is the first reported death due to complications from COVID-19 in Miami-Dade county.
His partner, Franco Conquista, says Carreras came down with what appeared to me mild symptoms at first but his condition got progressively worse.
Eventually, he was taken to the hospital, where he would later succumb to the virus.
Carreras had no prior health issues when he and a group of friends visited the festivities, which took place March 4-10.
“He started to feel sick after the event,” Conquista told WSVN. “We went together. I went to his place, taking care of him for two days, and I also had it. He couldn’t breathe, so he wanted to go to the hospital, and then, he was at the hospital for four or five days. Then, they put him to sleep because he was really agitated, and then, he never woke up again.”
Friends described him as a hard worker who worked about 14 hours per day at a warehouse and as an Uber driver, so he could save money to send to his family in Cuba every month.
“Israel was a very hard-working man,” he added. “He was full of energy, and he was working 13, 14 hours a day, so he could provide for himself and provide for his family back in Cuba.”
Conquista says he feels distraught and is at home in isolation because he said he is also battling the coronavirus.
“Just want people to know that this is serious,” he said. “They need to stay at home. It doesn’t just kill old people. This poor boy was only 40 years old. It can kill anybody, so just stay home and think of other people. Try to save other people’s lives. Just because you are not affected directly doesn’t mean that people are not suffering from this.”
“It is always sad when we lose someone but it is even more damaging to the heart when that person was part of the community and made us smile, laugh and dance on a regular basis,” Score South Beach, a popular nightclub where Carreras worked, wrote to Instagram. “Our condolences to everyone who is feeling this loss today.”
View this post on Instagram
It is always sad when we lose someone but it is even more damaging to the heart when that person was part of the community and made us smile, laugh and dance on a regular basis. Our condolences to everyone who is feeling this loss today. #RIP Israel. #StaySafe #StayHome #ScoreMiami #SouthBeach #MiamiBeach #Miami #Downtown #Wynwood #SouthFlorida #gaymiami #instagay #instagood #gaylife #gayboys #Gaymen #MiamiGay #LGBT #lgbtq
As of Monday, there are more than 164,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 3,164 deaths.