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People packed together in long lines for unemployment forms in south Florida

Posted at 2:15 PM, Apr 08, 2020

Video shows Floridians packed together waiting for unemployment forms in long lines in south Florida, despite social distancing requirements.

The state is under a safer-at-home order and people are encouraged to avoid large crowds to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The lines were notable in Hialeah where residents waited for blank forms.

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“Everybody out here is risking their lives to get these applications," one person told ABC affiliate WPLG. "It’s very hard to do it online because everybody is applying online and the website is crashing,” she said, adding she waited for about three hours.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández said there were people lining up as early as 6 or 7 a.m. When officers arrived, they refused to move from the line. He said the plan was to do an organized drive-through distribution, but a lot of people didn’t have cars.

The application forms are available here but must be mailed to The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity at P.O. Box 5350 in Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350.

Users with access to the Internet are able to download them in Spanish, Creole and English.

This all comes as governor Ron DeSantis is facing calls to expand unemployment benefits in the state.

Officials in Miami-Dade County say their unemployment sites would look different than Hialeah's.