SWEENY — The poker game that exposed multiple people west of the Brazos to COVID-19 wasn’t a poker game, a Sweeny resident connected to the case said Saturday night.

“They play Pitty Pat and Spades — there’s no poker game at all,” she said. “There’s only like four or five ladies that sit down and play cards.”

As far as county officials are concerned, whether it was a card game or a poker game makes no difference.

“Card game, poker game — call it what you want. When you have get-togethers like that you have to be very careful, and honestly playing cards of any type is … one of those activities that can easily share germs,” County Judge Matt Sebesta said. “I think what this shows is it doesn’t take much to get this virus fired up.”

The card game took place the weekend before Mother’s Day, the Sweeny woman said. Her great-aunt was one of the participants and was tested after that weekend, the woman said.

On Mother’s Day, eight to 10 members of her immediate family gathered in West Columbia for a meal with her mother and grandmother, while her great aunt was already quarantined at home, the woman said.

“That’s when we found out she had been tested and was waiting on the results,” she said. “We don’t know who exposed all of us … because everybody is positive.”

So far, she knows of nine people who have tested positive — and wasn’t sure where the number “12” came from, she said.

“It must be the older ladies,” she said.

The number comes from extensive contact tracing by the Health Department, which is done every time there is a positive test result, Sebesta said. The Health Department has individually interviewed all 12 people who have tested or are probable cases, he said.

“It can be widespread depending on how many people that person comes in contact with,” Sebesta said. “That’s how we’ve all come to learn about the new phrase social distancing over the last two months, that very few if any were familiar with, and that’s why social distancing is one of those things — along with good hygiene and everything else that people are being educated to do.”

The Sweeny resident hasn’t been anywhere and has been quarantined at home since Monday with her son, who is under the age of 10, she said. Her son is just sneezing now and the fever is gone, she said. Their symptoms now resemble those of a bad cold, with congestion, runny nose and headaches, she said. Her fiancé, who is in his 30s, is also in the home, she said.

They’re managing the virus, which “spreads like crazy,” she said. “We’ve been good so far.”

Sebesta feels for anybody who has contracted the virus, and from what he understands, a lot of family members have become involved in this case, he said.

“Unfortunately, playing cards is not a social distance activity, and unfortunately, we’re seeing what can happen,” he said. “And I hate it for this family. I really do.”

Corinna Richardson is the features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150. ​

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