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Coronavirus: Florida issues stay-at-home order after spring breakers ignore social distancing guidelines and party on beaches

The governor of Florida has issued a statewide stay-at-home order to remain in effect for at least 30 days beginning Thursday, after facing extensive criticism over a seemingly slow response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) announced the temporary orders while under pressure from local and federal health officials to step up partial measures the state was taking to slow the spread of Covid-19 transmissions.

Spring breakers stirred controversy in recent weeks as they partied on Florida's coastline, ignoring social distancing and self-isolation guidelines as the state confirmed more than 5,200 cases of the coronavirus.

A fever-tracking map featuring real-time data reported from across the country began to suggest an apparent outbreak of illnesses in the state after the spring break festivities, as The Independent previously reported.

In a press conference on Wednesday, the governor sense "it makes sense to make this move now" while acknowledging the White House guidelines to practice self-isolation measures for an additional 30 days.

Donald Trump initially said he wanted the country to "re-open" on Easter Sunday while calling for "packed churches all over" on the religious holiday, but extended a 15-day initiative after speaking to leading infectious disease experts.

This is a breaking news story. More follows...

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