Five students from the University of Tampa (UT) have tested positive for the Chinese COVID-19 coronavirus, the university has announced.
These students were traveling alongside other UT students to party for spring break shortly before they were diagnosed with coronavirus.
“We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery,” UT wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday night.
Throughout spring break, images of college kids on the beach partying and ignoring the coronavirus epidemic enraged the public.
WFLA News posted images of a packed Clearwater beach just last week:
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) March 16, 2020
A shocking video from South Florida was produced by the CBS Evening News, showing interviews with young people dedicated to partying as scheduled throughout the pandemic.
"I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying": Some spring break visitors in South Florida lamented the restricted access to beaches and entertainment as public health and government officials race against the clock to curtail the spreading coronavirus. https://t.co/8gBUuhcskw pic.twitter.com/LQKBQO5SwG
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 18, 2020
Experts are concerned that the young people who traveled and engaged in spring break partying may become super-spreaders after returning home.
“What is happening in Florida with spring break partying-on by students oblivious to the epidemiological implications of their actions is nothing short of tragic,” wrote Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, in an email to Politico.
“While many of us have been hunkering down to try to break the chains of infection in our communities, these young people have decided the pleasures of the moment are worth bringing back the coronavirus to their friends and family,” he added.
“Younger people have more social interactions. There’s more transmission among them. Most people are infectious before they are symptomatic,” said Hansel Tookes, a public-health physician at University of Miami’s medical school.
“The students who are going and partying at spring break potentially are feeding into a world where they are stuck in their houses for weeks on end later on,” said Justin Lessler, a professor of epidemiology for Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “So I think they should keep that in mind.”
“There’s the strong possibility that we could start to see cases popping up after the incubation period. And if it’s not the spring breakers, their parents and grandparents are at high risk as well,” said Florida oncologist Nitesh Paryani.
“Everybody is treating coronavirus, whether we want to or not. All physicians are being pulled into this fight. It’s an all hands on deck situation,” he added.
If hysteria surrounding the coronavirus turns out to be warranted, these college students may go down as some of the most dangerous fools in American history.
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Rhode Island Police Targeting New Yorkers for Mandatory Coronavirus Quarantine
State police will scrutinize New Yorkers arriving in the state.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Thursday that establishes strict mandatory quarantine rules for those arriving in the state from nearby New York.
“Anyone coming to Rhode Island in any way from New York must be quarantined,” said the governor at a press conference. “By order. Will be enforced. Enforceable by law.”
The executive order will require New Yorkers to identify themselves to state law enforcement or National Guard personnel and place themselves into self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. The Empire State is the national ground zero for the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, and Rhode Island’s government appears highly skeptical of New Yorkers fleeing from the state.
Governor Raimondo admitted that the executive order is an “an extreme measure,” but justified its implication on the basis of the coronavirus epidemic’s severity. “I don’t want anyone to panic. If anything, Rhode Islanders should breathe a sigh of relief. We are doing things to keep ourselves safe.”
National Guard personnel are being posted at the state’s major airports, and state police are stopping passenger traffic that enters from New York. Law enforcement will follow up with New York residents that enter the state to ensure that they’re complying the law.
Raimondo established real penalties for New Yorkers that violate the self-quarantine rule, subjecting them to a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or even 90 days in prison.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his disapproval of the move, claiming it unfairly singles out New Yorkers in a time when Americans should be uniting to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
“I don’t like it socially or culturally. I don’t like what it says about us as one state, one family. Also, I don’t believe it’s medically justified.
Florida, Maryland, Texas and California have enacted similar public health measures that scrutinize New Yorkers, but Rhode Island’s appears to be the most forceful to enter effect thus far.
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