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Pastor arrested for violating rules amid virus outbreak

Virus Outbreak Florida Church
Posted at 7:48 PM, Mar 30, 2020

Florida officials arrested a megachurch pastor after detectives said he held two Sunday services with hundreds in attendance and violated a safer-at-home order because of the coronavirus.

Jail records show Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne turned himself into authorities Monday afternoon in Hernando County, where he lives.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says he told church leaders of the danger they are putting themselves and their congregation in by not maintaining appropriate social distancing.

The county and governor’s orders require gatherings be fewer than 10 people to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. A live stream of Sunday's three-and-a-half-hour church service showed scores of congregants.