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Over 40 Texas spring breakers returned from their recent festivities and tested positive for coronavirus after ignoring health officials warnings against large gatherings, CTV News.
Two weeks ago, around 70 students from the University of Texas at Austin flew from Austin, Texas, to Mexico. The group of students in their 20s decided to ignore advice given by White House officials who said that gatherings of over 10 people should be avoided along with nonessential air travel.
Of the 70 students who went on the trip, 44 have now tested positive for COVID-19 according to a spokesperson for the University.
Texas House speaker Dennis Bonnen had strong words for the students when speaking with CNN.
“Quit being an a**,” Bonnen said. “Get over yourselves. Whether you think this is an issue or not, it is. Whether you think it could affect you or not, it does. The reality of it is, if I'm a college kid who's going to spring break in Mexico, you're affecting a lot of people. Grow up.”
The Austin Public Health Department noted that some of the students boarded commercial flights on their way home from the trip.
Public health officials said that many passengers from the flight are now being monitored.
In a statement, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said, “The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying. While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19."
The University of Texas at Austin is now helping public health officials with tracing those who were in contact with the students.
J.B. Bird, a spokesman for the University said, “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.”
Health officials noted that students who tested positive for coronavirus are currently in self-isolation.
In a statement, University president Gregory L. Fenves said, “(It) is our responsibility to follow local, state and national public health orders, and use good judgment during this crisis.”
“Our conduct and the decisions we make have direct ramifications on our own health and the health of everyone in our city and beyond. We must do everything we can to limit the spread of this virus—the consequences of reckless actions at this time could not be clearer.”
On March 24, a stay-at-home order was issued for Austin by mayor Steve Adler.
Health officials noted that there was no federal travel advisory for Mexico at the time of the trip.