Here’s why Florida spring breakers could be ‘super-spreaders’ of COVID-19 coronavirus
The "Spring Break" held by US colleges and universities is peak season for Miami Beach, and tourists still flocked to the sand ignoring the new coronavirus pandemic (Photo: AFP / CHANDAN KHANNA)

With many colleges closed, epidemiologists are warning that students who spent spring break on Florida's beaches could become "super-spreaders" of COVID-19 coronavirus, Politico reported Saturday.

"As Florida officials move to expel the hundreds of thousands of spring breakers who ignored calls for social distancing, public-health specialists are nervously wondering what will happen once the party’s over," Politico noted. "For much of this week, revelers continued to cram four and five to a hotel room, swarm beaches over hundreds of miles of coastline, and then gather shoulder-to-shoulder in bars and clubs – almost a model process for spreading contagious diseases."

"Now, with their campuses likely shuttered, most spring breakers will return to hometowns across the country where any exposure to coronavirus could set off a contagion, public-health experts warned. They called for greater vigilance in those communities and sharply criticized Florida authorities for their slowness in closing beaches and nightspots," Politico explained.

Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, blasted the situation.

“What is happening in Florida with spring break partying-on by students oblivious to the epidemiological implications of their actions is nothing short of tragic,” Gonsalves said. “While many of us have been hunkering down to try to break the chains of infection in our communities, these young people have decided the pleasures of the moment are worth bringing back the coronavirus to their friends and family.”

Justin Lessler, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, warned Florida's spring break could be a "super-spreading" event.

“The students who are going and partying at spring break potentially are feeding into a world where they are stuck in their houses for weeks on end later on,” Lessler said. “So I think they should keep that in mind."