University of Texas spring breakers test positive for COVID-19

Henrietta Strickland
April 1, 2020

More than two dozen students from the University of Texas, Austin, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after chartering a plane to Mexico for spring break.

The 28 people who tested positive are now self-isolating, and more are being monitored while quarantined, according to the statement.

A group of about 70 young adults travelled together on a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico about a week and a half ago, the Austin Public Health Department said in a statement.

Dozens who haven't tested positive remain under a public health investigation.

Some individuals who went on the trip came back home on commercial flights, according to the Austin Public Health Department's statement. It added that no resort staff member presented coronavirus symptoms.

"It's proven because among the workers where they were staying, there are no positive cases".

As of Tuesday, Texas has at least 3,280 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 244 of those cases in Travis County. Critics of the government's strategy say a relatively low number of tests carried out mean more cases could be undetected.

Baja California Sur, the peninsular state where Cabo San Lucas is located, had 13 cases of coronavirus through Monday, Mexican health ministry data shows.

Earlier this month, five college students from the University of Tampa contracted the CCP virus after they returned from a spring break trip. The University of Texas at Austin told NBC News that the 28 young adults with COVID-19 are students at the school.

Still, Mexico's usually packed beaches, bars and clubs have largely emptied after U.S. authorities issued a ban on non-essential travel to Mexico, including for tourist trips across the U.S. -Mexico land border.

Mexico was not under a federal travel advisory at the time the group flew into the country, but their behavior may have jeopardized the health of many people they interacted with during their trip.

"The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying", Dr. Mark Escott, the top health official in Austin-Travis County, said in a statement.

Mexican President Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador has been hesitant to enforce strict social distancing measures over fears the economy will be adversely affected.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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