A day after two students presented concerns to the City of Gainesville commission claiming that the UF student population isn’t taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed that four University of Florida students tested positive.
In a press conference on Tuesday, DeSantis made the announcement but did not specify where the students are but did state that all of the cases are travel related.
During an emergency meeting held by the City of Gainesville on March 16th, Zachariah Chou, a UF student senator, told the Gainesville City Commission that pool parties and gatherings of students are still happening despite mandates by the CDC for social distancing.
Chou also asked the commission to consider closing bars and restaurants and cleaning the RTS buses more than once a day. After the meeting, the City did just that in a Declaration of Emergency.
“There’s a lot of young people treating this like Spring Break part two,” Chou told the commission and referred to an Instagram post that shows drone footage from flying over an apartment complex pool party.
Then Chou offered a solution: Drain the pools.
He also asked the commission to put a spotlight on high touch services and noted that he observed about speakers at the meeting that, “every single person touched the microphone.”
Chou offered to help get the word out to the entire student body via email.
Another student echoed Chou’s comments.
“I’m scared for what is going on with our student population,” he said. “A little over a week ago, 50,000 students all came back from spring break from all over the world. We don’t know who has it yet.
“There’s a chance that it could have spread already.”
Both students agreed that a lot of the UF student population is treating COVID-19 as a joke.