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28 University of Texas students who went on spring break trip to Mexico have tested positive for coronavirus

April 1, 2020
They were among a group of 70 who took a chartered flight about 10 days ago to Cabo San Lucas

Twenty-eight University of Texas students who returned to Austin from a spring break trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, have tested positive for the coronavirus, university officials say. Dozens more are being monitored.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that a group of about 70 people in their 20s took a chartered plane to and from Mexico about 10 days ago. Some flew back on commercial flights. Four of those who tested positive showed no symptoms.

Austin Public Health, UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker on board the charter plane and are tracing the commercial flights’ other passengers. The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating, and others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested, Austin Public Health says.

Local health officials say Mexico was not under a federal travel advisory at the time of the group's travel, but again urged Austin and Travis County residents to avoid all nonessential travel.

It appears many of the University of Texas students were traveling to Cabo San Lucas with a company called JusCollege, which specializes in  trips for college students. In the weeks and days leading to spring break, the company sent multiple emails to  students, saying there was no danger from COVID-19 and that the cost of the trip packages, which students say was about $2,000, remained nonrefundable.

“We’re currently in our 2nd week of Cabo and have had almost 5,000 travelers, all with no issues,” the company said to a University of Texas student in March 12 email. “Flights have been fully operational and we have had nearly 100% turnout. Our events are completely operational with zero impact from COVID-19 thus far.”

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

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About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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