A group of Florida college students traveling together on spring break have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

  • Six students at the University of Tampa have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the university said in a statement Sunday.
  • Four students are self-isolating on campus and the other two students are doing so elsewhere.
  • None of the students have been hospitalized, the university said.
  • The University of Tampa has moved all course instruction online, though it has not forced students to leave campus.
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Six students at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a Facebook post made by the university on Saturday night. 

One student was traveling internationally and was tested on March 16 at the on-campus Dickey Health and Wellness Center for COVID-19. The student is now self-isolating off-campus, the university said.

The other five students were traveling with other classmates during the university's spring break, according to the university's statement.  While four of the infected students have returned to campus where they are "self-isolating", one student had not, the university added. 

The university did not say how many students were traveling with the five infected students and whether they had been tested for the novel coronavirus. It has not been yet confirmed if the infected students were traveling together in the state of Florida or if they were traveling elsewhere when they contracted the virus.  

The University of Tampa spring break lasted between March 8 and 15, according to the University of Tampa calendar. 

None of the students infected have been hospitalized, according to the university. 

"The Florida Department of Health is following its protocol to identify, notify and quarantine any individuals that have had contact with these individuals," the statement said.

The university said it was following  "all necessary safety precautions are being used" and that its campus health center will be open for students needing medical attention. Counseling is also available to students remotely, the school said.

Similar to other universities throughout the US have forced students off of campuses in order to prevent COVID-19 spread, the University of Tampa began conducting classes online for the remainder of the semester on March 16 and asked all students to leave campus unless they have no other option for housing. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has rejected calls to close beaches statewide, though cities, including Tampa, have made decisions to shut down beaches as college spring breakers flock to beaches in Florida and Texas despite calls for social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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