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Winter Party Attendee Israel Carrera Has Died of COVID-19

Israel Carreras the first death from White Party

Carrera is the first reported fatality in Miami-Dade county.

MikelleStreet

UPDATE (3/28/2020): After learning of the death of 40-year-old Israel Carrera, Rea Carey, executive director of National LGBTQ Task Force which puts on Winter Party in Miami, released a statement.

"I am deeply saddened by the death of Israel [Carrera,]" Carey wrote. "I extend my care and condolences to his loved ones, his friends and family. He was so clearly loved by many. The particular cruelty of this virus, this pandemic, is our inability to be together in grief, to hold each other and to care for each other. We hold Israel and everyone being affected by COVID-19 in our hearts."

In the organization's statement earlier this month where they reported an attendee reported contracting COVID-19, they said they "made the most informed decision at the time, following official guidance available at the time," when they decided to go through with the annual festival. Per that guidance they made alcohol-based hand sanitizer available and posted signage about hygiene.

ORIGINAL (3/27/2020): After the Winter Party announced that attendees reported being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, one of the event goers has died. Israel Carrera is the first reported death due to complications from COVID-19 in Miami-Dade county. Carrera was 40 years old and his boyfriend said he had no previous conditions.

Carrera reported feeling sick after attending the massive party in Miami, and was eventually admitted to the hospital. There, at times, he said he couldn't breathe.

"He started to feel sick after the event," Franco Conquista, Carrera's boyfriend told WSVN. The pair reportedly came down with fever and then Carrera developed a cough. "We went together. I went to his place, taking care of him for two days, and I also had it. He couldn't breathe, so he wanted to go to the hospital, and then, he was at the hospital for four or five days. Then, they put him to sleep because he was really agitated, and then, he never woke up again." According to the outlet, putting patients in an induced coma if they are having severe trouble breathing, is not out of the ordinary.

Carrera has lived in Miami for several years but was born in Cuba. He danced as a gogo boy at various parties and events, was a radiologist, but also was a driver in ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to make extra money.

"It is always sad when we lose someone but it is even more damaging to the heart when that person was part of the community and made us smile, laugh and dance on a regular basis," Score South Beach, a popular nightclub wrote to Instagram. "Our condolences to everyone who is feeling this loss today."

Conquista is currently still in quarantine as he also contracted the virus.

In addition to Carrera, the Florida Department of Health confirmed the death of another patient suffering from the virus as well. 10 people have died in the nearby Broward county.

*This story originally Israel Carrera's name as Israel Carrera based on multiple reports as well as his Facebook name. This has been corrected.

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.