A woman in her 30s from Garland, Texas, died of COVID-19 in a plane that was about to fly from Arizona to Texas on July 25, local health officials said over the weekend.
The woman died while the plane was still on the tarmac after reportedly experiencing severe breathing difficulties, according to local news station KXAS-TV and a report by Buzzfeed News. She was administered oxygen before she died and had underlying high-risk health conditions, per a press release from Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The airline involved in the incident as well as the identity of the woman remain undisclosed for privacy reasons. The woman’s death was announced on Sunday, along with two other previously unreported coronavirus deaths.
Despite the woman dying nearly three months ago, Dallas County was only recently notified that the cause of death was confirmed to be COVID-19.
“We don’t know a whole lot,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told local news station WFAA. “We may not know if she was aware she was sick.”
Jenkins added that this was a stark “reminder that there is no age restriction in COVID.” He criticized the loosening of coronavirus lockdown restrictions throughout Texas, including an executive order passed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in early October allowing bars to reopen at 50% capacity.
“What happens with that is people hear that — they may not be going to a bar, but they think it’s now safe to have friends over to watch the Cowboys game or do something else they want to do,” Jenkins said. “We keep jumping the gun, and it puts us back in a situation which hurts public health and businesses and schools.”
As of Monday, the state of Texas has seen over 828,500 confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 17,000 fatalities.
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