Florida governor calls out spring breakers; reaction from our medical panel on 'Outnumbered Overtime.'
Officials in South Padre Island already had declared a state of emergency for COVID-19, but announced new restrictions Wednesday on public gatherings to limit its spread. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the city was limiting beach groups to 10 or less, officials said in a news release.
"Our hope is that of the Federal and State government; that by imposing these measures quickly and firmly, we will help bring this national emergency to an end quickly and help revitalize the economy we all enjoy as soon as possible," the city said.
All dance floors are closed, food truck permits are suspended, and buffet-style service must have a server at each station, according to the restrictions announced Wednesday.
Despite pleas from the local government in recent days, spring breakers were still partying on area beaches this week.
Video from Wednesday posted to Instagram showed two young men wrestling as fellow beachgoers cheer them on.
Another photo from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s FIJI fraternity showed a gathering on the sand for spring break in South Padre Island.
In Florida, where massive crowds filled places like Clearwater Beach, officials have called out spring breakers for their behavior.
“The universities with the spring break … a lot of students have just been congregating at the universities and going out and doing things there, and that’s not something we want,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference on Tuesday.
Two men wrestle each other as spring break revelers look on during a contest on the beach, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Pompano Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The White House warned Wednesday that millennials may show a “disproportionate” number of positive coronavirus cases and emphasized reports coming from Europe that have shown young people at risk of becoming “seriously ill.”
“There are concerning reports coming out of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill in ICUs,” Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during a press conference.
Birx added that millennials “cannot keep having these large gatherings that continue to occur throughout the country for people who are off work to then be socializing in large groups and spreading the virus.”
As a response to the coronavirus pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars be shut down for 30 days beginning at 5 p.m. and many Florida beaches are turning away spring break crowds urging them to engage in social distancing. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
“You have the potential, then, to spread it to someone who does have a condition that none of us knew about and cause them to have a disastrous outcome,” Birx said.
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.