Miami has reported its first coronavirus-related death.
According to NBC, Israel Carreras died in the hospital on Friday after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.
The 40-year-old is believed to have caught the virus while attending the Winter Party Festival in Miami Beach between the dates of March 4 and the 10.
His partner, Franco Conquista, said one of the first symptoms was a fever and “then very quickly he was having problems with breathing.”
It led to a horrible cough that made breathing so difficult for Carreras that he had to use sign language to communicate.
“He could not breathe, and then they put tubes in his nose and his mouth," Conquista recalled, adding, “he couldn't even get the tubes out to eat. Because he couldn't breathe.”
With the virus being highly contagious, Conquista was not able to spend time with Carreras in person. He said the virus is like “somebody sucks the will of wanting to live out of you.”
He described Carreras as healthy with no underlying issues aside from possible high blood pressure.
His advice to others, "Just stay home. Don’t just think of yourself. Don’t just think because you’re not affected directly this is not happening. It is happening. People are suffering, people are dying."
While many of Miami’s events like Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho Festival were canceled immediately, the beach party still attracted thousands of attendees.
So far, nine attendees have also tested positive for COVID-19.
The U.S is now leading in coronavirus cases surpassing both China and Italy, two areas heavily affected.
New York remains the nation’s epicenter with more than 44,000 cases, however, Florida is seeing an increasing number of cases that has led some experts to fear it will become the new hotspot very soon.
NBC reported that as of late Friday, cases in Miami-Dade County surged to over 760 with the state nearing 3,000.
Daily Mail added that the high number of elderly residents and the influx of tourists makes Florida particularly vulnerable. Up until recently, many spring breakers ignored the dire warnings and flocked to the beaches anyway.
Shortly after Carreras’ death, the Miami Herald reported a second coronavirus death of a 79-year-old man who was not yet identified.