28 students positive for coronavirus after spring break trip

AUSTIN (AP) — More than two dozen University of Texas students have tested positive for the coronavirus after taking a spring break trip to Mexico, public health officials said.

A group of about 70 people who are in their 20s took a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas about 10 days ago, the Austin Public Health Department said Tuesday. So far, 28 people in the group have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness linked to the coronavirus, and dozens more are being monitored, the health department said.

The department said four people with confirmed cases did not have any symptoms.

“The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying,” Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said. “While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

The students were part of a group trip to Mexico that had not been canceled by the travel company, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. Hospitals in the most afflicted areas are straining to handle patients and some are short of critical supplies.

Texas has reported more than 3,200 cases of COVID-19 and 41 deaths.

TEACHERS’ DEMAND

The Texas State Teachers on Wednesday demanded schools be closed for the rest of the school year, saying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to shutter them until May 4 isn’t long enough.

At least seven states, including neighboring Oklahoma and New Mexico, have closed their school for the rest of the spring semester. Texas and the federal government have already waived this year’s standardized testing requirements.

“Disease experts expect this pandemic to get worse, maybe much worse, in Texas before we see any relief,”said TSTA President Noel Candelaria said.

The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.