1:32 PM PT -- As you can see from the pic below, with all the people squeezing into a small space, it's not surprising others became infected with coronavirus. We've learned a doctor and 4 of his friends who attended the white party tested positive, as did others, including a Toronto man who said he's never felt worse in his life, saying with regret, he went so he wouldn't lose all the money he put down for the trip, plus ... "I'd been needing a vacation so I said, Let's go." 10 days later he became ill.
Miami's first COVID-19 related death was a guy who went to an annual beach party only weeks ago -- tragically, the national alarms didn't fully sound off in time to warn him.
Israel Carreras is the 40-year-old man who passed due to complications he developed after contracting coronavirus. He died in a Miami-area hospital Friday night after developing a severe cough, which reportedly left him mute ... with extreme breathing difficulty.
Earlier this month, Israel and his boyfriend, Franco, attended the Winter Party Festival along the shores of Nikki Beach, South Beach and others between the dates of March 4 and March 10. Thousands of people attend each year, and 2020 was no different, as you can see.
People packed the beaches, and were pretty much crammed in like sardines. Practically nobody was practicing social distancing at that point, and the danger of coronavirus spreading as fast as it ultimately did hadn't quite registered like it did the week after WPF ended.
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The week of March 8 started seeing multiple events being shut down, canceled, postponed in droves -- and even scheduled sporting events and entire seasons were getting scrapped outright. But, for events like Winter Party, it was already in full swing by then ... clearly not everybody got the message or understood the importance of staying away from crowds as of early March.
As for Israel, his partner says the positive diagnosis came down just this past Monday ... and his condition quickly deteriorated. He says he couldn't even see his boyfriend in person, and could only FaceTime ... at which point they were signing because Israel couldn't speak.
At least 9 other people, so far, who attended Winter Party Festival have reportedly contracted COVID-19 as well.