- Florida is currently experiencing one of the worst and fastest-growing COVID-19 outbreaks in the country with a seven-day average of 10,855 new confirmed cases and 71 new deaths per day.
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The Republican National Committee is now planning on holding their August presidential convention in Jacksonville, Florida outdoors due to COVID-19, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
The Washington Post had reported on Thursday that GOP officials were looking into holding the convention mostly outdoors and were "studying" the logistics of holding the convention at "two outdoor professional sports stadiums."
The Times said that officials have now decided to move the convention events scheduled to be held on August 25, 26, and 27 away from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, an indoor venue, to an outdoor setting. As The Times noted, however, "Trump often shifts positions, and officials emphasized that the plan could change."
Large, indoor gatherings in poorly-ventilated places are an ideal environment for the virus to quickly spread and infect many people at once, scientists say, especially if attendees are not all wearing masks and staying six feet apart.
Republicans had previously planned to hold the entirety of the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, but pulled most of the convention out of the state due to a dispute with North Carolina's Democratic governor Roy Cooper over whether it would be safe to hold a large convention during a pandemic.
The Post said that those involved in convention planning "believe there could be less risk of transmission and spreading for attendees in a larger outdoor arena than in the stadium."
Florida, however, is currently experiencing one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation with 282,427 confirmed cases as of Tuesday and a seven-day average of 10,855 new cases and 71 new deaths per day, according to The Times.
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