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Mass Gatherings, Student Parties Raise Coronavirus Concerns in Florida

Gathering of over 1000 broken by police using a helicopter near Florida State University.

After Florida State University opened in August, around 1500 students tested positive. Amidst this level of virus spread, there’s this news coming about a mass gathering near the campus.

Police broke into a party of over 1000 people attending at a housing complex over the last weekend. A news release from Tallahassee Police Department mentions this is not the only case of a mass gathering. And police broke into over a dozen cases of large crowds during the same weekend. The cases erupted after the state decided to allow restaurants and bars to operate at full capacity.

What Made the Party to the Headlines?

As mentioned, the weekend witnessed numerous large gatherings, because of which Tallahassee Police Department get multiple calls. When police reached the spot, it found around 700 cars parked around an apartment complex off the campus. This much number of vehicles on the road ended in a blockage around midnight. And police officers had no choice but to call for a helicopter to clear the crowd.

The Fear of Coronavirus among Officials

The whopping 1500 number of coronavirus positive cases since August is what has been a reason for officials’ worry. That’s why they have been pleading students to refrain from being a part of such gatherings and wear masks. However, it seems like the government administration is thinking the other way round.

Governor’s Take on Students Partying During this Pandemic Situation

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Governor, issued orders on Friday, lifting bans on restaurants and bars, allowing full capacity operations. Besides, he also suggested creating a bill of rights for college students in Florida. According to him, the bill should protect students from being expelled for partying around.

While addressing the press, DeSantis said that he understands that these actions by universities are aimed to protect students. However, expelling students from college just for attending a party looks dramatically draconian. Taking the students’ side, he emphasized that partying is what college students do.

The Florida Situation

While the USA has been hard hit with the Covid-19 outbreak, Florida is one of the worst affected. Cases in the state rose rapidly after restrictions were lifted in May. However, the new case count started declining by the mid of July, achieving rough stability at 2250 new daily infections by August.

Now, with more than 700,000 cases with 14,200+ deaths, this frequency of gatherings across the state could fuel the rise of new highs.

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