Spring Break Super Spread: New coronavirus outbreak after dozens return from Cabo

More than three dozen college students who traveled to Mexico for spring break have tested positive for the virus after returning to Texas.

As the New York Times reports, a new outbreak in Austin is tied to a spring break trip the included 70 students from the University of Texas at Austin. The students reportedly took a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas in mid-March, and many returned to Austin on commerical flight. Now, 44 of the 70 have tested positive for coronavirus, with 40 experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

The report indicates that health officials were aware of the risk posed by the large group of spring break travelers. The officials reportedly consulted flight manifests and contacted the students directly, urging them to self-quarantine.

“The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying,” Dr. Mark E. Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for the city of Austin and Travis County, said in a statement obtained by the New York Times.

“While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from Covid-19.”

The 70 students booked their trip with a travel company called JusCollege; the chartered flight was on March 14 and many in the group returned on March 19.  On March 12, the company sent an email to the students, claiming that the trip would not pose a health risk.

“We hope that you choose to enjoy your Spring Break with us – we’re currently in our second week of Cabo and have had almost 5,000 travelers, all with no issues,” the email read, according to KVUE. The message also notified that the students that the company was not making any adjustments to its refund policy as a result of the pandemic.

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[Feature image: AP Photo/Julio Cortez]