49 Texas college students test positive for COVID-19 after spring break trip

National News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN is learning more about the large group of UT Austin students who went to Cabo San Lucas for spring break.

On Friday, the University of Texas announced that 49 of those students have tested positive for COVID-19 since they returned. Austin Public Health says even more are in the process of being tested and have been under quarantine since they got back.

Some parents tell KXAN there was some concern about the young adults going on the trip, but students had paid in advance and were told they wouldn’t be issued a refund if they chose not to travel due to COVID-19 concerns. Therefore, some felt if they didn’t go on the trip they’d be losing money.

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According to parents, the company the students booked the trip through is JusCollege. Its website is still advertising the Cabo Spring Break 2020 trip online.

One parent whose son was supposed to go on the trip shared email correspondence between the student’s family and JusCollege. Her son did not end up going on the trip and still hasn’t received any kind of a refund.

In an email sent on March 11 — a couple of days before the trip was scheduled to begin — the student’s mother expressed concern that it was dangerous for students to fly and be in big crowds. She also wrote that she was worried the students might get quarantined in Mexico, should borders shut down.

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That mother shared a company response from March 13, the day the students were set to leave, stating that JusCollege believed, “There is no compelling reason to reconsider travel to Mexico at this time due to coronavirus.”

The company went on to say in that email that it had not canceled and had no plans to cancel any of its upcoming spring break trips. It then went on to say refunds would not be available for any cancellations. It said everything had been paid for and preparations had already been made at that stage.

Several days after the trip was scheduled to end, the company responded to the family’s continued emails, saying it was working with its vendors, “To try and get as many concessions as possible to pass onto you.”

The company’s email went on to say its goal is to have refund and credit options available soon, and it added that it would give the student options to postpone his trip.

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The student’s mother says so far, no type of refund has been issued.

In a “COVID-19 FAQ’s and Updates” page on the company’s website, JusCollege now says some spring break trips have been canceled. The company was offering spring break 2020 trips through April 10th.

KXAN has made multiple attempts to get more information from JusCollege about the Cabo San Lucas Trip UT students went on, but has not received a response from the company’s media relations team.

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