Thousands attended Miami gay festival; several later tested positive for coronavirus

Attendees at the 2015 Winter Party Festival in Miami. (Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) | Andriana Mereuta / Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images file

By Julian Shen-Berro

As the coronavirus continues to spread and disrupt life worldwide, one festival is finding the memory of its celebrations tinged by the outbreak.

The Winter Party Festival, an annual, weeklong LGBTQ event held in Miami, drew thousands from across the country when it kicked off earlier this month. But though it ended March 10, in the week following the event several attendees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to festival organizers.

“We know […]

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Greetings Winter Party Guests, I am writing to let you know that on Saturday night (the 14th), I was informed that one of our Winter Party Festival (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. Information and circumstances have changed rapidly since WPF. We continue to encourage all WPF guests to monitor their health, practice social distancing, wash hands with soap, use hand sanitizer and contact their doctor if they think they are exhibiting symptoms. 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. More information from the CDC can be found here: 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. The educational posters throughout WPF venues and 10,000 hand sanitizers we distributed over the weekend were both appreciated and utilized by attendees. Again, please take care of yourselves and if you test positive for COVID-19 in the couple of weeks, please feel free to email me at [email protected] – Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

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