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Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis to limit gatherings of more than 250 people

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis says large Spring Break events in South Florida "undercut" state's effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Saying large gatherings of Spring Breakers were undercutting the state's efforts to stem the global coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will restrict events larger than 250 people. He also is exploring asking restaurants to implement social distancing practices to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, but is waiting on additional guidance from the CDC.

"I think that you have a lot of folks taking a lot of important measures around the state," he said, "but then you see these images over the weekend of these massive gathering of a lot of college students in places like Miami Beach."

He said mayors of cities including Ft. Lauderdale and Miami Beach would also impose curfews, "effectively pulling the plug on these big Spring Break gatherings."

He also said the state was working to implement rapid COVID-19 testing, focusing on hard-hit Broward County, and that those tests would be paid for by the state. "All of these COVID-19 tests will be free to the patients," said DeSantis.

He said the state has seen a rapid increase of cases, and added, “we anticipate that will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Elections supervisors said the presidential primary was proceeding, and that 600,000 have participated in early voting and over 1 million have early voted.

RELATED: Florida governor on primary election | 'They voted during the Civil War. We're voting' 

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