The Executive Director of the group that hosts the annual Winter Party in Miami Beach notified attendees yesterday that one of the guests has tested positive for COVID-19. The popular LGBTQ event took place from March 4-10, one of the few that did not cancel in light of the coronavirus warnings. Founded in 1994, as a one-day dance party on the beach, it has since grown into a “week-long festival featuring dozens of events and drawing crowds by the thousands from around the globe,” according to the event’s website.
In a notice on the festival’s Instagram account, Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force said, “I am writing to let you know that on Saturday night (the 14th), I was informed that one of our Winter Party (WPF) guests has tested positive for COVID-19 this last week. We are grateful to them for alerting us, particularly given that they were not experiencing symptoms during WPF. While we know there are many places people could have been exposed before and after Winter Party as this virus has developed, we wanted to make sure you have this information as soon as possible. The health and safety of anyone who participates in any Task Force event is of great importance to us.”
Carey encouraged anyone with symptoms to contact their doctor. “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.”
“Given what we knew at the time about the virus prior to WPF and working with local Miami Beach officials, we took steps to ensure the safety of attendees,” Carey wrote. “The educational posters throughout WPF venues and 10,000 hand sanitizers we distributed over the weekend were both appreciated and utilized by attendees.”
Events were held at Axel Beach, Hotel Gaythering, Treehouse, Nikki Beach Club, Palace Bar, 1235 Washington Avenue, and Exchange Miami in Miami Beach; No. 3 Social and Wynwood Factory in Miami; and Eagle Wilton Manors.
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