Ron Rich, a musician and volunteer at the recent Winter Parry circuit festival in Miami, has died at the age of 65. He is the second coronavirus death linked to the event, which took place March 4-10.
Folks around Fort Lauderdale have posted remembrances of Rich, who was a warm presence among the local LGBTQ community.
“Ron was a familiar face to the guests who attended the Task Force Gala, Winter Party Festival and our Fort Lauderdale house parties over the past five years as his big smile and warmth had him mostly serving on our hospitality team Ron also volunteered with the Outshine Film Festival and Lambda Legal,” the National LGBTQ Task Force wrote on Facebook. “He will be missed. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.”
Last week, another Winter Party attendee, 40-year-old Israel Carreras, succumbed to the virus.
Many other party-goers contracted COVID-19 at the event, which took place just before strict social distancing guidelines went into effect.
Chris Johnson, the Chief Political & White House reporter for the Washington Blade, spoke with one attendee who reported, “Within my group of friends, 10 or so of us have flu-like symptoms. I’ve chatted with acquaintances who in most cases say that they have many sick friends within their groups as well.”
As of March 31, there are 163,539 reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and 2,860 deaths.