FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – On the same day Florida reported an additional 204 deaths from the coronavirus, a group opposed to COVID-19 restrictions held a protest in Fort Lauderdale.

The group, Reopen South Florida, gathered on Las Olas Boulevard near the beach. Hardly anyone wore a mask or practiced social distancing.

The protesters are upset at mandates which require them to wear masks, social distance, and have their temperatures taken.

The organizer calls the restrictions a violation of constitutional rights.

“So we stand here bare faced, mask free and proudly with excellent immune systems to say that we are done, we are over the psychological torture that has been inflicted on us and we’re ready to get on with our lives,” said Chris Nelson, Reopen South Florida co-founder.

The group says it believes COVID-19 is real but is skeptical about the data surrounding it.

They want Governor DeSantis to life the State of Emergency in order to resume a ‘normal life.’

Meantime, the state’s COVID-19 death toll is nearly 9,500.

Since the start of the pandemic five months ago, nearly 570,000 Floridians have become infected. On Saturday, state health officials announced more than 6,300 new cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average for new infections has been about 6,150 cases per day. Over the past week, Florida averaged 177 new deaths — with only Texas eclipsing that number.

On a positive note, the number of cases has been steadily on the decline since peaking a month ago, when the number of new cases was nearly double what they are now.

Still, health officials have urged residents to remain on guard against the virus by wearing masks, practicing good hygiene and keeping a safe distance from others.

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