Norman couple urging caution after 6 of 8 birthday dinner attendees test positive for COVID-19

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A local couple is urging caution after six of eight people who attended a birthday dinner at a crowded restaurant tested positive for COVID-19.

They’re still recovering in quarantine but took time to Zoom with News 4 to share their warning with you.

The Norman couple says they did all the things experts advise, like wearing masks in public and staying socially distant – that is until they let their guard down one night at the crowded restaurant.

“There was a lot of people in there and I don’t blame the establishment. I just blame myself for not walking out,” said Andrew Gilman. 

He and his wife Cassie say two weeks ago they went out to eat with six of their friends for Andrew’s birthday. 

It was a gathering planned weeks in advance when coronavirus cases were lower in Oklahoma, thinking they’d be in the clear. 

Days after the dinner, the Gilmans and three others who attended the birthday dinner began to feel ill and later tested positive for COVID-19.

“We did have a friend who was asymptomatic but did test positive,” Cassie said. 

They say thankfully no one in their group has been sick enough to go to the hospital, but they have experienced symptoms.

“It’s been really pretty mild and hard to complain about when there’s all those other people that are truly sick,” Andrew said. 

Cassie compares her bout with COVID-19 to mono.

She says surprisingly, one of the toughest parts has been the loss of taste and smell.

“You don’t realize how much comfort, or at least I didn’t, you take in food,” she said. “The good news is I can eat all the healthy things that I don’t typically love and I can’t taste it!”

The Gilmans won’t say which restaurant they went to because their warning is not about that – it’s about personal responsibility.

“I never thought that I couldn’t get it, I am just sort of mad at myself for not making that decision to walk out of the restaurant and not just go home and order a pizza or something,” Andrew said. “That probably would have been a better move.”

Cassie teaches fitness classes.

She did teach one class before she realized she had COVID but everyone in the class tested negative, crediting masks and social distancing steps taken.

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