The Miami Herald published a report on Friday (March 20) stating nine people who attended the Winter Party Festival (March 4-10) have contracted the coronavirus. The news site states the event was attended by thousands who came to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
The National LGBTQ Task Force’s executive director, Rea Carey, said the organization was made aware of the occurrence on Thursday (March 19). “We understand that there are others who have posted online that they were at WPF and are showing possible symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19,” Carey said to the news site.
Florida’s beaches remain a spot for mass gatherings each year when spring break or the summer season rolls in. Recently, CBS News produced a video interview with several spring breakers who weren’t worried about the virus and still wanted to enjoy their vacation. Now, the state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has closed down all beaches for an undisclosed period of time.
“The message I think for spring breakers is that the party’s over in Florida,” DeSantis said. “You’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state. Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater Beach, are closed entirely for the time being.”
Across the country, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and other points of entertainment have closed their doors or reduced to food delivery/takeout for now as the government stresses social distancing.
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying”: Spring breakers are still flocking to Miami, despite coronavirus warnings. https://t.co/KoYKI8zNDH pic.twitter.com/rfPfea1LrC
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 18, 2020
Carey stated that WPF attendees who feel they’re experiencing certain symptoms should seek medical attention. “We continue to encourage all WPF guests to monitor their health, practice social distancing, wash hands with soap, use hand sanitizer and contact their doctor if they think they are exhibiting symptoms,” Carey said. “If one tests positive for COVID-19, we urge them to contact those they were in direct contact with so all can take steps to monitor their health and speak with their doctors.”