Texas couple dies from COVID-19 on same day, family says

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Texas couple dies of COVID-19 on same day
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A Texas family is sharing their hearbreak after their relatives, a couple who were both teachers, died from COVID-19.

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (KTRK) -- A Grand Prairie, Texas, husband and wife, who were both teachers, have died from COVID-19 on the same day, their family says.

Paul Blackwell, 61, was a physical education teacher and coach, while his wife, 65-year-old Rose Mary, taught for more than 20 years as a bilingual second-grade teacher.

"They put their hands together, so they were holding hands before they started to remove them from the intubation," said relative Mary Helen Lopez-Garcia. Rose Mary was her sister.

Lopez-Garcia says it's not clear how Rose Mary and Paul contracted COVID-19, but several relatives are also battling the virus.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows Texas has reported more than 24,000 deaths linked to the virus, which is the second-highest among all 50 states.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new coronavirus cases has increased by 2,405.4, an increase of 20.7%, according to the university's data. There were 703.4 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks in Texas, which ranks 41st in the country for new cases per capita. One in every 292 people tested in Texas in the past week was positive for the virus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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