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Police break up large Easter party in Florida due to COVID-19 safety guidelines

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Posted at 7:47 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 19:47:50-04

Pensacola police broke up a large Easter celebration that more than 100 people attended on Sunday despite mandatory social distancing guidelines.

WEAR TV reports that they received a tip about a large Easter party happening in the Attucks Court community in the 1300 block of W Cervantes St. in Pensacola on Sunday evening.

WEAR TV's crews captured video from afar of a large gathering of about 150-200 people, despite social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic and a "Safer at Home" order implemented by Gov DeSantis.

Several people at the event shared no concerns about the coronavirus or the need to social distance.

Only a handful of the attendees were wearing masks. An event organizer said the party was an Easter cookout for kids in the community, according to WEAR TV.

Officer Mike Wood told WEAR TV that the Pensacola Police Department sent officers out to the party.

“It took our officers about two hours to end the party,” Wood said.

Wood says the party was dispersed by about 7 p.m. No citations were issued and no arrests were made.

“The officers were really just educating those at the party about the importance of social distancing,” Wood said. “Many of those in attendance were young and we were trying to explain to them that while they may think they’re not at high risk for the virus, they can bring it home to their older family members.”

WEAR TV reports that many attendees left the party after the officers spoke to them.

Authorities say if a resident witnesses a large gathering, they can contact their local police department and they will send officers out to help disperse it.