Masks rarely stay on at parties

Prime Time was extra busy during its brunch last Sunday. Photo courtesy EventBrite

With COVID-19 rates increasing day by day, it seems as if some people were determined to party with big crowds before returning to in-person classes.

This past holiday weekend, there were brunches, lunches, open club events, and plenty of house parties as students enjoyed an extra day off from classes. The parties seemed to have plenty of people, drinks and food. The only thing was missing:  masks.

It has been mandated that masks be worn upon entry into certain establishments, but once inside they are no longer strictly enforced to be worn. For example, Prime Time, a daytime and nighttime restaurant that offers a variety of alcoholic beverages and food along with daily drinking specials, hosted a brunch last Sunday that quickly turned in to a party with plenty of people. There were students, alumni and Tallahassee residents in attendance.

“It was a highly advertised party so of course lots of people were in attendance, I think people should be good as long as they have on their mask, but once drinking became involved the less people you saw wearing one,” said Tamare Brackins, a Tallahassee resident and club owner in Atlanta.

As in-person classes resumed this past week for the first time since March, many fear that the parties could pose a health threat and cause an outbreak on campus.

“I mean I did enjoy myself this weekend but I kept my mask on at all times. Everybody didn’t though, and there’s no way to tell who could have contracted COVID and who could not. The main concern is that tests don’t show accurate results for up to a week following transmission of COVID, which is scary because we returned back to classes only two days after last weekend,”  Dae’Shavon Johnson, a junior at FAMU, said.

FAMU has hosted town halls and stressed to students that if they are showing any signs or symptoms to stay home from classes, but you can also be asymptomatic with COVID-19.

To help transition and combat a major outbreak FAMU has given out Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to students on and off campus. The kits include one disposable mask, one pair of gloves, two pouches of hand sanitizer, and two alcohol wipes.

Unlike Johnson, student Tatyana Dixon is excited to return to campus for the remainder of her freshman year while following CDC guidelines.

“Being that is our only break this semester I think FAMU is prepared to handle any outbreaks or mishaps at this point. We’ve had a whole year off from in-person classes, while FAMU carefully planned a step closer to resuming normal college life,” Dixon said.