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Friday, January 15, 2021

28 UT students positive for coronavirus after spring break trip

AUSTIN, Texas (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. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas’ schools will stay closed through at least May and imposed restrictions that doctors and even his critics say amount to a stay-at-home order for the state — despite Abbott refusing to call it that.

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