Panic as several Miami gay festival attendees test positive for coronavirus

Attendees enjoy the 22nd annual Miami Beach Winter Party Festival on Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Miami Beach, Fla. The event is an annual fund and consciousness-raising event committed to supporting, inspiring and activating the LGBT community worldwide through a celebration of identity, equality and unity. (Andriana Mereuta/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Miami gay festival may be a fatal festivity for attendees after several tested positive to Coronavirus.

The Winter Party Festival, an annual, weeklong LGBTQ event held in Miami, drew thousands from across the country when it kicked off earlier this month. But though it ended March 10, in the week following the event several attendees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to festival organizers.

“We know there are many places people could have been exposed before and after Winter Party as this virus has developed, but we wanted to make this information public as soon as possible,” Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which organized the festival, said in a statement Monday.

In her statement, Carey emphasized that event organizers “made the most informed decision at the time, following all official guidance available at the time.”

Event organizers took additional precautions during the festival, distributing 10,000 hand sanitizer bottles and hygiene information to attendees.

It remains unclear whether the virus was present in attendees for the duration of the festival, as none experienced symptoms at the time, but health officials warn the virus can still be transmitted before symptoms occur. While incubation period estimates range from 1 to 14 days, it is most commonly around 5 days, according to the World Health Organization.



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