The University of Tampa in Florida on Saturday confirmed that five college students have tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling together during a recent Spring Break trip.
“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 university tweeted on Saturday. “We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery.”
In a separate post shared to Facebook, the University of Tampa said a sixth student had also been tested positive for COVID-19. The additional positive case, an unnamed student who had recently traveled internationally, was tested on March 16. None of the six cases have been hospitalized, and all students are currently under self-isolation.
Of the five students who were traveling together during spring break, one did not return to campus after their trip, the university said.
Newsweek reached out to the University of Tampa for additional information.
News of the six Florida college coronavirus cases come just days after Republican Florida Senator Rick Scott, who previously served as the state’s governor, told individuals to get off the beach after images of crowded beaches began circulating online despite the White House’s social distancing recommendations.
“Individuals need to take responsibility and every level of government has got to be very clear: Don’t be on the beach unless you can somehow be completely by yourself,” Scott told CNN on Thursday morning. “I mean, we’ve got to figure out the social distancing.”
“Every part of government has to start telling people: ‘Take some personal responsibility here. Don’t infect other people. Don’t take a chance that you’re going to be the one who is gonna cause your grandparent, or your parents, or another friend from school to get sick,'” he added. “Get off the beach.”
Social media users also heavily criticized “spring breakers” and other beachgoers online for ignoring the White House’s guidance.
Florida’s current GOP Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced stricter guidelines to fight the coronavirus’ spread in the state, which included limiting beachgoers to congregate in groups smaller than 10. “I think the steps we’re taking will really reduce density, reduce crowds,” he said, stopping short of ordering beach closures.
Some local officials then took it upon themselves to close their beaches after DeSantis’ refusal to do so, including mayors of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, according to NBC News.
As of Sunday morning, there were 311,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, with over 13,000 deaths and at least 93,000 recoveries.