5 College Students in Florida Test Positive for Coronavirus After Spring Break Celebrations_1


A group of students from a Florida university were diagnosed with coronavirus after returning from spring break earlier this month.

With cases of the disease increasing every day, states around the country are asking residents to stay indoors to slow the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. But just last week, spring breakers in Florida were criticized for ignoring suggestions to follow the CDC’s recommendations to practice social distancing and stop gathering in groups of 10 or more.

The University of Tampa announced on Monday that five of its students have tested positive for coronavirus after returning from their spring break vacation.

"UT has been notified that five UT students, traveling together and with other UT students during Spring Break, have tested positive for COVID-19," the school said in a tweet. "We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery."

One other student who lives off-campus tested positive for the virus last week, CBS News reported. The school has not identified the students or where they went on vacation. The students are now self-isolating, according to the New York Post.

On Tuesday, the university ended all face-to-face instruction and moved to online coursework for the rest of their semester.

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As of Monday afternoon, there have been at least 39,819 cases and 458 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to the New York Times. In Florida alone, there have been at least 1,000 cases and 13 deaths, the Times reported.

On Sunday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was closing all state parks on Monday.

"[Florida's Department of Environmental Protection] has taken many measures to continue providing resource recreation at our state parks during this time, such as limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity at parks with high visitation," the department said in a statement to its website.

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"Unfortunately, this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," they added.

The move came after DeSantis was criticized for keeping beaches open during the outbreak, leading many coastal cities and towns to shut down the beaches on their own, NBC News reported.


The move was partly spurred on by a video of young people in Miami blatantly disregarding safety precautions to celebrate spring break.

“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying,” partier Brady Sluder told Reuters in a video shared by CBS News. “We’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we’ve had this trip planned.”

“We’re just out here having a good time,” he added. “Whatever happens, happens.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments, and visit our coronavirus hub.