Close contact: Spring breakers play tug-of-war amid calls for social distancing
Published Thursday, March 19, 2020 3:16PM EDT Last Updated Friday, March 20, 2020 9:02AM EDT
TORONTO -- It looks like spring breakers might not be taking measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 too seriously.
A video was posted online of a group of enthusiastic spring break revellers taking part in a game of tug-of-war on Wednesday. Not only were the participants in close contact with each other, but a crowd had also formed around the group to film the action.
The video was filmed the day before all beaches in Miami-Dade, the county which includes Miami Beach, were ordered closed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The mayor had issued a policy banning gatherings of more than 10 people in local parks on Wednesday, but issued an outright ban on beaches Wednesday night.
The Florida Department of Health encouraged people to avoid large gatherings, close quarters, and greetings that involve bodily contact, and to stay two metres away from other people.
The World Health Organization is urging people to stay at least one metre away from anyone coughing or sneezing to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
There were 390 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths reported in Florida as of March 19, according to the Miami Herald.
Health officials are calling for people to practise social distancing in order to give local health agencies time to respond to the pandemic and to ensure there are enough resources available to effectively treat a possible influx of COVID-19 patients.