Coronavirus has struck all eight retirees who met up for a regular poker game, resulting in three of the members' deaths, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Wednesday.
The group of eight met five nights a week, Sunday to Thursday at 7 p.m. for a poker game. Their last meeting occurred March 12.
One of the attendees, Harriet Molko, and relatives of the deceased told the newspaper that the coronavirus likely spread at that game as hugs, cards, cash and chips were exchanged.
Marcy Friedman, who organized the games, died on March 28 after developing symptoms three days after the final game, her son Andrew Friedman confirmed to the paper. She had underlying heart, lung and kidney conditions.
Couple Beverly Glass and Frederick Sands died in the same hospital room after developing symptoms within a week of the March 12 game. The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Sands had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and tightening in the arteries, while Glass had the same heart condition.
The seemingly fateful game came days before local social distancing orders went into effect and three days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended people avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.
This gathering of eight people demonstrates how the virus can unknowingly spread even among a small group of people.
Molko, who was hospitalized because of the virus, said she knows other players at the game continued to go to other small gatherings for the same purpose the weekend after March 12, and local casinos remained open for about a week after.