Many members of the gay community may have been exposed to COVID-19 during an early March festival in Miami, according to NBC News.
What are the details?
The Winter Party Festival, an annual, weeklong LGBTQ festival in Miami, saw thousands and thousands of attendees this year.
According to festival organizers, several attendees have tested positive for coronavirus since the festival's March 10 conclusion.
Rea Carey, who is executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, issued a Monday statement on Instagram. The National LGBTQ Task Force organized the festival.
"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," Carey explained in the now-viral post. "The health and safety of anyone who participates in any Task Force event is of great importance to us."
Carey added that the task force was not aware at the time that the outbreak would become so deadly, noting that it "made the most informed decision at the time, following all official guidance available at the time."
The outlet reported that the task force was proactive in "distributing 10,000 hand sanitizer bottles and hygiene information" to attendees.
The organization has not yet announced how many of its attendees have tested positive for COVID-19.
"Information and circumstances have changed rapidly since WPF. We continue to encourage all WPF guests to monitor their health, practice social distancing, wash hands with soap, use hand sanitizer and contact their doctor if they think they are exhibiting symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19, please contact those you were in direct contact with so they can take steps to monitor their health and speak with their doctors," Carey's post added.
In a statement to NBC News, Carey said, “We are monitoring the situation but the real story here is that millions of people across the country would like to get tested and the government has not done its job to make testing available. We hope that as people do get tested, they contact those with whom they have been in direct contact with and seek medical attention if necessary."
On Monday, the Miami Herald reported that the festival organizers did take precautions in attempting to squash the spread of the deadly disease.
"During the welcome reception for the Winter Party Festival on March 4, a festival representative and Mayor Dan Gelber demonstrated a hands-free handshake that attendees should use. It involved jazz hands," the Herald's Martin Vassolo wrote. "Organizers rolled out a hygiene policy and said they gave out 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer."
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