28 University of Texas Students Positive for Coronavirus After Spring Break Trip

Visitors enjoy Clearwater Beach, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. Beach goers are keeping a safe distance from each other to help protect from the spread of the Coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP File Photo

The University of Texas and Austin Public Health officials say 28 students tested positive for the Coronavirus following a spring break trip to Mexico. The students were part of a group of 70 who chartered a flight to Cabo San Lucas.

Austin Public Health officials say a group of 70 in their 20s chartered a plane for round-trip flights to Cabo San Lucas about ten days ago, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Some of those returned on commercial flights. Officials say 28 of the people from the trip subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Four of those who tested positive showed no symptoms.

Austin Public Health, UT Health Austin, and University Health Services contacted every spring breaker who traveled on the charter flight, the Austin newspaper reported. Officials are in the process of contacting passengers on the commercial flights taken by the other travelers.

University officials say they are aware of 38 students and seven faculty members who either tested positive, are presumed positive, or who self-reported.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, many of the students utilized a company called JusCollege for travel arrangements. The company specializes in organizing trips for students.

“In the weeks and days leading to spring break, the company sent multiple emails to UT students, saying there was no danger from COVID-19 and the refund policy on the trip packages — which students say were about $2,000 — remained nonrefundable,” the newspaper reported.

The article continues:

“We’re currently in our 2nd week of Cabo and have had almost 5000 travelers, all with no issues,” the company said to a UT student in March 12 email obtained by the American-Statesman. “Flights have been fully operational and we have had nearly 100% turn out. Our events are completely operational with zero impact from COVID-19 thus far.”

The company did not respond to requests for comment. A March 25 announcement, however, said the company has postponed spring break trips and is working on credits or partial refunds for those who can’t attend the new trip dates.

USA Today reports:

“Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker on board the plane using flight manifests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time. Others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested,” Austin Public Health said.

Austin public records show that nearly half of those infected with COVID-19 are between 20 and 40 years old, the newspaper reported. Dr. Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority, stated that COVID-19 hides in the healthy, from whom it is transmitted to vulnerable people.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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