CDC Report Credits University of Texas Officials for Slowing the COVID-19 Outbreak Related to the Spring Break Trip in Mexico

AUSTIN, Texas – A new CDC report shows that tracking contacts, including asymptomatic people, is vital in controlling future COVID-19 outbreaks, and the agency used a spring break trip to Mexico as an example.

Sixty University of Texas spring breaks that traveled to the resort town of Cabo San Lucas tested positive for the virus after returning to Austin in March 2020, the CDC said.

“The early epidemiological investigation, with an effective search for contacts and cooperation between a university and a public health department, contributed to the control of outbreaks,” the report said.

An investigation by Austin Public Health and the University of Texas Health Austin began on March 28, the same day that two students tested positive. The staff interviewed 289 people who traveled to Cabo, people who lived with a traveler, or people who had close contact with someone who traveled. A fifth of those who tested positive had no symptoms, according to the report.

RELATED: Spring Breakers Test Positive for COVID-19 After Trip to Mexico

While around 70 20-year-old students boarded a chartered plane to Cabo, a total of 183 UT students made the trip. The virus then spread to four others at home, according to the report.

Mexico, at the time of the group’s trip, was not under a federal travel notice.

Many of the travelers to Mexico told health officials that they had prolonged contact with others because they shared hotel rooms during the trip or shared living spaces in the United States. Health officials believe that several moves from the start helped prevent the outbreak from worsening, including rapid contact tracing, the extension of UT-Austin’s spring break, and the shelter-in-place order from the city that entered. effective March 25.

Wednesday’s report notes plans for universities to reopen campuses in the fall.

“Tracing contacts and testing for close contacts, regardless of symptoms, is important to limit the spread, especially in young, healthy populations living in shared housing and to control future COVID-19 outbreaks that could occur when schools and universities consider reopening, “says the report set.

RELATED: UT in Austin Reopens in Fall, But Things May Be Different

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