Tuesday's Florida primary is still scheduled to go on as planned even as the state continues to ramp up its efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
State elections officials said they have been working with the state health department to ensure that polling places are clean, and that they're safe for poll workers and voters.
"Guidance from voting machine manufacturers on how best to sanitize machines, guidance from CDC on best practices for hand washing, and guidance from our respective state health officials is being provided to every polling location," elections officials said in a statement.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the primary will go forward.
"We're definitely voting,” DeSantis said during a news conference Friday. “They voted during the Civil War. We're going to vote."
DeSantis recommended that voters who normally would cast their ballot at a senior residential facility be moved to a different voting location.
According to health officials, seniors are disproportionately affected by the virus, which does not bode well for the nearly 5 million people who are over the age of 60 in Florida.
Broward County – which is the area hardest hit by the virus in Florida – is stocking its 421 polling locations with extra supplies, including 4,000 rolls of paper towels, gloves and more than 400 bars of soap.
Beyond sanitizing polling stations, the coronavirus has also affected the campaign of one of the two democratic frontrunners – Joe Biden.
Biden’s campaign announced last week that scheduled rallies in Tampa Bay and Miami on Monday would be canceled and held virtually due to the virus.
219 delegates are at stake in Florida’s race, which could be a knockout blow for Vermont Gov. Bernie Sanders if he loses. Sanders is currently struggling to keep up with Biden after losses in Idaho, Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi last Tuesday.
Sanders alienated many Hispanic voters in Florida during a “60 Minutes” interview where he said it was “unfair” to say everything was bad about the Cuban revolution that put Fidel Castro into power.
Sanders did not back down on his comments, but denounced authoritarian rulers like Castro and said he was specifically speaking about Castro’s literary program.
According to a Telemundo poll of Hispanic voters in Florida, most Hispanics said they would vote for Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s primary.
In addition to Florida, three other big states will be holding primaries, including Illinois, Ohio and Arizona.
On Saturday, Georgia became the second state to postpone its presidential primary over COVID-19 fears, joining Louisiana. Georgia's, scheduled for March 24, was moved to May19, while Louisiana's April 4 primary will be delayed until June 20.