Crowds gather at Florida parties to spread COVID-19, sheriff says

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Saturday, July 18, 2020
Florida sheriff's office video shows party crowds
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office released video that shows people dancing in residential streets as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the state.

KISSIMMEE, Florida -- Deputies in Osceola County, Florida have been busy breaking up so-called COVID-19 parties, and hundreds were captured on video.

Sheriff Russ Gibson told WFTV-TV attendees are either planning to catch the virus or they don't care if they do.

"We're going to have extra patrols out there, especially when we know these parties are going on tonight, tomorrow night," Gibson said. "Generally speaking, they're on the weekends."

Video from a sheriff's helicopter showed people dancing and socializing in the middle of residential streets in the Kissimmee area. Vacation properties are being rented for the parties, the sheriff said.

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Despite the close-contact, Gibson said his office doesn't have much power to stop what's happening.

"These are recommendations by the CDC and that's what we're going by, but they're not violating the law," Gibson told WFTV. "There is no law."

Gibson said extra patrols were planned as noise complaints have increased.

SEE ALSO: Students throw COVID-19 parties to bet on who will catch virus first