Over 60 cases of COVID-19 originated from a single group of students visiting a Mexican beach resort for spring break. According to a new report released Wednesday by the University of Texas at Austin, three infected students on the trip in mid-March resulted in 64 other cases of the virus among visitors to the same resort in Cabo San Lucas.

The report sheds light on how early downplaying of the coronavirus has led to more cases and deaths. The students’ trip ended on the same day that the U.S. government urged citizens to stop traveling internationally. A week later, the three students went to the school’s health center with symptoms of the virus, later testing positive.

In response, the health center immediately began contact tracing, reaching out to travelers that may have come in contact with the students, either at the resort or on the plane ride home, as well their other close contacts. Among the 183 travelers contacted, 60 tested positive for the coronavirus. The center also diagnosed one out of 13 household contacts and three out of 35 community contacts. Only nine contacts were unable to be reached for an interview.

“During the telephone call, contact tracers advised asymptomatic travelers and contacts to self-quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last potential exposure date,” the report explained. “Symptomatic travelers and contacts were offered a SARS-CoV-2 test and asked to self-isolate until either a negative test result was obtained or, following CDC recommendations at the time, until 7 days after symptom onset, including 3 days with no fever and no worsening of symptoms.”

As colleges and schools around the U.S. prepare to have students return in the fall, the report presents this case as evidence of how easily COVID-19 can be spread by young people. 

There had been widespread warnings of the coronavirus in March with reports surfacing of college students dismissing the concerns. A CBS News video went viral in mid-March of spring breakers vacationing in Miami.

“This is one of the most serious diseases you will face in your lifetime, and recognize that and respect it,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, told Time.com on March 20 about the coronavirus threat for Millenials. 

1024px-Cabo_San_Lucas_bay View of the Cabo San Lucas harbor in 2005. Photo: Creative Commons