Police officers broke up a party with more than 1,000 attendees in an off-campus apartment complex near Florida State University, according to a statement from the Tallahassee Police Department.
The 1,000-plus attendees were crowded outside the complex, with around 700 vehicles blocking the travel lanes. The officers were “able to safely disperse the crowd” with the help of a Leon County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.
The party was one of several large gatherings that the Tallahassee police had to attend to over the weekend, they said.
Florida State University (FSU) has one of the highest COVID-19 caseloads among U.S. universities. Since the school reopened and started testing students and staff on Aug. 2, there have been nearly 1,500 positive cases, a positivity rate of 7.61 percent, according to FSU.
FSU President John Thrasher said in a letter to students on Sept. 18 that the school would punish anyone who is not following public health guidelines, and those set by the university.
“Students who endanger the community with actions such as hosting or attending a large party or gathering will be subject to suspension,” Thrasher said. “The FSU Police Department, the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office are partnering to monitor bars, restaurants and off-campus residences where the Centers for Disease Control and university guidelines are not being followed.”
The state of Florida’s COVID-19 restrictions have since shifted, with Gov. Ron DeSantis deciding to fully reopen all restaurants, clubs, bars and hotels last Friday, against the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
DeSantis also said that FSU students should have “some type of bill of rights” to get around the “draconian” punishments from the school for people who violate COVID-19 guidelines, News4Jax reported. The governor claimed that college kids are “at low risk” of severe disease, and therefore should be allowed to party. While teens and young adults are less likely to develop severe cases of COVID-19, they can still have complications from the virus and in some cases, die.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 704,560 people in Florida have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida and at least 14,316 have died. Nationwide, more than 7,229,000 Americans have tested positive and at least 206,221 have died.
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