Number of Mexico spring breakers returning to Texas with coronavirus nearly doubles (UPDATED)
- UPDATE: UT now says 44 of its students returned from Mexico spring break with coronavirus.
- Almost 30 spring breakers from the University of Texas have tested positive for coronavirus.
- This comes after a number of spring breakers from the University of Tampa tested positive as well.
Updated Thursday, April 2, 2020:
After initially confirming that 28 students returned from spring break in Mexico with coronavirus, the University of Texas now says that 44 of its students contracted the disease in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, according to the Austin Statesman.
Despite warnings against international travel, 70 young Americans vacationed in Mexico only to learn that twenty-eight of them brought COVID-19 back with them. The 28 people who tested positive for coronavirus were also University of Texas-Austin students.
The majority of young people did not take the coronavirus seriously at its onset. Oneclass.com, a website that provides study materials to college students, surveyed more than 2,000 college students from 45 colleges across the nation at the beginning of March, of whom 73.6 percent admitted that they were not canceling their plans because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Only 26.4 percent of the students surveyed told OneClass that they canceled their spring break plans because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Those who have not tested positive are under quarantine, according to the city of Austin.
According to Austin Public Health, this trip happened prior to the federal travel advisory to Mexico. However, Austin residents were already being advised to avoid all nonessential international travel. APH stated that this trip was not categorized as “essential travel.”
“The university is working closely with Austin Public Health to assist in contact tracing. The incident is a reminder of the vital importance of taking seriously the warnings of public health authorities on the risks of becoming infected with COVID-19 and spreading it to others,” Director of Media Relations & Issues Management at the University of Texas J.B. Bird, told Campus Reform.
“The university is working with affected students individually to make sure they are in a position to comply with all public health directives as a result of the incident,” Bird added. “Our students are now dispersed around the state, country, and world. We urge vigilant compliance with local health mandates wherever they are, including full observation of the City of Austin’s shelter-in-place rules, for those who live in Austin.”
Campus Reform previously reported that the University of Tampa also had five students return from a spring break trip who tested positive for the virus. That brings the university’s total number of cases up to seven.
In hindsight, many students who ventured out against U.S. officials’ warnings are now expressing regret. Young people are even taking to social media to call out those “who ignore the warnings regarding public health or safety” by labeling them as “COVIDIOTS.”