Deceased Lancaster teen's friend and family tests positive for COVID-19

Still no answer on the cause of death of that 17-year-old teenager in Lancaster.

He’s the young man L.A. County Health officials initially said had died of COVID-19. Hours later, they retracted their statement. But a family who knows the teen and is now infected is asking why weren’t they warned. 

“He seemed ok and healthy and come Wednesday or Thursday, he passed away all of a sudden,” said Melissa Derose.

The Lancaster mother panicked when she discovered her daughter Hailey’s good friend, a 17-year-old Lancaster High School student had suddenly died. She contacted LA County Public Health urging them to test her family for coronavirus.  

She said, “I put two and two together and it’s a little too close for comfort in the sense of everything going on.”

Someone from the county came out to test the entire family and the results came back positive for COVID-19 for her daughter and her husband. 

Originally, L.A. County Public Health officials stated the 17-year-old who died in Lancaster at Antelope Valley Hospital had tested positive for coronavirus. Later, they backtracked saying further investigation was needed.

“Public Health is contradicting themselves and just all over the place,” said Derose.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris says “the worst problem we’ve ever confronted is much worse than we believe and that’s what’s going on. That’s why L.A. County Public Health keeps changing their mind about who has it and who doesn’t have it."

Parris says L.A. County Public Health officials haven’t done anything to protect the residents of small cities like his.  

“They did not follow up; meaning nobody called the parents to find out what happened, from the time he died till the time they confirmed the diagnosis, meaning there was no attempt to track people, no attempt to find out who had contact with each other. There was no attempt to quarantine anybody, zero attempt,” said Parris. 

Derose tells a similar story.

She said, “There’s no help, there’s no assistance. It’s kind of, hey this is what you have and a lot of good luck, good luck.”

Mayor Parris spoke with the father of the teen who recently died.

He said, “The father was just completely distraught, he was concerned if there was something he could have done and I assured him, it wasn’t him that failed his son, it was us, the local governments that failed him.”

Parris is saying that because the boy was never tested when he got sick. He was tested after he died.

The Mayor says he is no longer waiting for L.A. County Public Health. He’s ordered more than 100,000 test kits for his community. 

The Derose family has set up a GoFundMe account. If you would like to help, here is the link: