Thousands of people head to Florida beach amid coronavirus outbreak

Droves of people have been seen in footage circulated online visiting a beach in Florida in recent days despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to CBS News and local media, thousands of people have been seen descending on Clearwater Beach this week and over the weekend, even as health officials have asked the public to avoid large gatherings in a bid to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Though the CDC says experts are still learning about how COVID-19 is transmitted, the agency said the disease is believed to be spread primarily through person-to-person contact.

The CDC says the virus, for which a vaccine has not yet been found, can also be spread through “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”

As a result, the CDC and President Trump have asked the public to avoid large gatherings and discretionary travel to prevent the disease from taking a stronger hold in the U.S.

According to a local ABC affiliate, a number of beaches in Florida have been adjusting their hours in an effort to limit the outbreak. At least 216 cases of the virus have been reported in the state.

Local leaders in Clearwater reportedly held a meeting earlier this week to discuss the possibility of implementing a curfew at the beach, but they have reportedly not yet reached a decision on the matter.

The report comes as hundreds of schools, restaurants, bars and other establishments have closed their doors in numerous states across the country as officials at the state and federal levels work to limit the spread of the virus.

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