Amid lockdowns reimposed by authorities around the world to contain COVID-19‘s fall resurgence, the organizers of Tulum festival Art With Me opted to move forward with their event on November 11th-15th. Dozens of cases have now been linked to the event according to attendees and health professionals.
In conversation with The Daily Beast, Checkmate Health Strategies Founder Eleonora Walczak said that 60-70% of the positive tests the company reported in recent weeks were linked to the gathering. “And I test in Miami as well, and my testers there tell me that a lot of their positives are people coming back from Art With Me,” she said.
Danish DJ Be Svendsen also said that he also came down with COVID-19 sometime after performing at the arts and wellness event. He said that he “heard of at least 17 other people” who attended parties and then contracted the novel coronavirus.
According to Hospital de Tulum Administrator Antonio Romero, the facility has treated “multiple people” who contracted COVID-19 at Art With Me. He said that two or tourists three per day hail from the U.S., but the majority come from other South American countries.
The Art With Me website states that in addition to temperature checks and use of hand sanitizer upon entry, all attendees are required to wear masks unless they’re eating. Video from the gathering shows revelers flouting the rules, however, and multiple sources told The Daily Beast that masks were not enforced.
Mexico has reported over 1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 100,000 deaths. The country is currently at level 4 advisory, according to the CDC, meaning that all travel in and out should be avoided.