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DeSantis to Churches: 'Keep God Close' but 'Keep COVID-19 Away'

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The coronavirus is causing businesses deemed non-essential to shut their doors, but some churches across the country have struggled to weigh whether or not to cancel in-person services.

Several pastors across the country have been arrested for holding in-person services despite stay-at-home orders.

And on Monday, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis (R) urged churches to shift to online or outdoor services to help stop the spread of the virus.

He noted that many churches have been “innovative” and have begun streaming their services or having people stay in their cars as the pastor shares his message outside with a microphone.

“I think what a lot of churches have done, in terms of online services, some have done outdoors where people just stay in their car, I think they have been innovative, and I think that that will ultimately be something that matters a lot to people.”

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“But, we’ve also pointed out the risk of having a packed gathering right now given what we’re going through,” DeSantis said, adding, “It would be a potential to have a super spreader, and that would eventually have really serious health consequences to folks.”

He continued, “We want people during this time to be spiritually together but to remain socially distant. Please keep God close, but please keep COVID-19 away.”

Watch his comments below: 

DeSantis’ comments come after Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on Sunday that this upcoming week would be “our Pearl Harbor moment,” and the “hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

President Donald Trump has previously expressed hope that portions of the country could see restrictions lifted by Easter — the holiest day for Christians.

However, as the spread of the virus accelerated around the country, Trump announced that he would extend the social distancing guidelines through the end of April. 

According to the latest data, there are more than 347,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country. 

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