6 Florida students who ignored social distancing calls and travelled together during spring break test positive
The University of Tampa had switched to conducting online classes and expressed concern that college-goers had ignored the advice and warnings to maintain the much-needed social distance
Six students attending the University of Tampa have tested positive for coronavirus after they traveled for spring break.
The students had been traveling together along with other students from UT. The school has not identified where the group went during their break. On Friday, March 20, the University had shared that, initially, only one student had tested positive.
On Saturday, March 21, they posted that four more students who had traveled together for the spring break had also tested positive for the virus. Out of the group, four had returned to the campus after traveling. The students have self-isolated and have not been hospitalized.
It is not known whether the students are staying on or off-campus. Since March 17, the university had switched to conducting online classes while students had been asked to vacate the campus. As per the University's Facebook page, "UT has been notified that four UT students, traveling together and with other UT students during Spring Break, have tested positive for COVID-19. "
"One of the students did not return to campus after spring break, and four returned to campus. All are self-isolating – the latter four on campus -- and none have been hospitalized. The Florida Department of Health is following its protocol to identify, notify and quarantine any individuals that have had contact with these individuals," the post read.
"We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery." the post continued. Many college-goers had ignored the advice and warnings to maintain the much-needed social distance and stay at home given the coronavirus pandemic.
This negligence resulted in local leaders such as Miami Beach's Mayor to declare that 'Spring Break is Over' when students continued to flock to the beaches to party. In Florida, many thousands of students had been seen partying and gathering at bars and restaurants despite local officials to ban gatherings.
A young man, Bradley Sluder told CBS, "f I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me," Daily Mail reports. A student, Jay Jones, 22, from Drexel University shared, "It's so weird, we didn't think it was going to get this bad. At least I'm still in warm weather though, so whatever, I'll just hang out in the hotel and flex. I'm staying for the rest of my trip."
Miami officials have declared that it is illegal for more than 10 people to gather and have shut bars and restaurants in order to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale also set up barricades to block the public from entering the beaches.
Several police cars were stationed behind the dunes while some officers were seen on ATVs and bicycles in order to monitor the crowds. The Mayors of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale also said that they would be issuing fines for anyone who breaks the restrictions.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis shared, "Closing our public beaches was without precedent, but necessary." As of March 22, Florida health officials revealed that 13 people have died from the virus while there are 1,007 confirmed cases across the state.