College students are not letting the coronavirus ruin their South Florida spring break plans.
Several students from Ohio and Indiana drove north to Delray Beach after Fort Lauderdale closed its beaches.
Delray Beach Mayor Shelly Petrolia says her staff is monitoring the public beach there, although they have not seen crowds large enough to justify closing it.
“Honestly I’m 20 years old, if I have it it’s gonna pass within a week. It’s just like the flu. I’m just trying to enjoy my spring break while I can,” explains Carlos Velasquez, a student at Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois, who came to Delray Beach with a group of friends.
Nearby, a sign on a lifeguard tower read: “PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.”
As far as precautions, Velasquez adds, “Just putting my headphones in, listening to the music and having a good time.”
The friends started the week in Broward County, but when beaches in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach closed, they headed to Delray Beach.
Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Rick Scott has urged spring breakers to stop partying on south Florida beaches to avoid spreading the virus to those most susceptible.
Spring breaker Brady Sluder responds, “If I get corona, I get corona, at the end of the day I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying. We’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we’ve had this trip planned. We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens happens.”
Other students are concerned about the threat COVID-19 poses.
“I’m trying to put myself in a situation where I’m like washing my hands a lot, and trying to stay away from big groups of people. I mean I’m only here with like my friend so we’re like just the two of us sitting by ourselves,” says Caroline Sullivan, who attends the University of Cincinnati.
As of Wednesday evening, there were 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Palm Beach County. Nearly half of the state’s 432 cases are in South Florida, which is considered Florida’s epicenter for the crisis.