July 15, 2020 -- The Republican National Convention may be held outdoors because of the coronavirus as Florida reported the highest number of deaths in a single day – 132.
The New York Times reported that party officials met with President Trump on Monday and have decided to move the convention out of VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, to several outdoor venues near the arena on Aug. 25, 26 and 27.
However, the newspaper noted that President Trump often changes his mind, so the move is not a certainty.
Health experts have long said the virus spreads easily when people are bunched up indoors, but the need to move outdoors has become more pressing as the pandemic worsens in Florida.
Republicans involved in the planning believe there could be less risk of transmission in a larger outdoor arena than in the stadium, and attendees may be less concerned about taking part in such an event, the Washington Post reported.
Several Republican senators have said they will not attend the convention.
On Tuesday, the state said a record 132 coronavirus related deaths were reported the previous day, the Miami Herald reported. The previous record was 120 deaths on Thursday, the state department of health said.
Florida has reported more than 269,000 cases and 4,200 deaths since the pandemic started.
The GOP convention originally was going to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, but officials there couldn’t guarantee the event could happen without social distancing, the Times said.
Meeting outdoors in Jacksonville may provide a challenge. The weather in August is always hot and the City of Jacksonville currently has a face mask requirement.