Bars close as virus cases rise


Florida Department of Health data for June 26.

HOLT, Fla., June 26, 2020—The state closed bars today as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Florida.

Alcohol sales are still allowed; however, businesses that generate more than 50 percent of gross revenue from alcohol sales are required to shut the doors to in-house drinking, according to Halsey Beshears, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Florida experienced its highest jump in positive cases today since tracking began in February and March, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

Today’s numbers jumped from 114,018 to 122,960, an increase of nearly 9,000 cases.

By comparison, yesterday’s numbers surged by nearly 5,000.

The governor attributes the growth to increased testing.

In May, Florida was conducting about 24,000 tests a day. During the last seven days, testing numbers average about 45,000 tests a day, according to the governor.

“That’s really what we’re seeing in terms of an increase positive rates, which is one of the major factors that’s driving the, quote, cases,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis during a briefing earlier Friday.

Testing, and community transmission, he said.

“Some of it was driven—particularly in the last two weeks—by a lot of community transmission, particularly from the younger demographic,” he said.

At the beginning of March, people in the 65-and-older age group were the virus’s main victims. In April and May, it was clustered in the low-to-mid-50s age group.

In the last two weeks, the higher positive case numbers are clustered in the 25-to-34 age group, according to FDOH data. From early June to now, the number of cases in that age group has almost tripled, according to the governor.

Statewide restrictions in May were designed to “flatten the curve, and keep the health care system and resources from being overwhelmed,” DeSantis said.

By June however, people were ready to get back to a normal life.

“People were naturally just wanting to more get into a normal swing of things,” he said.

However, he cautions people to stay vigilant and practice the “3 Cs”:

  • Avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation
  • Avoid crowded places with many people nearby
  • Avoid close-contact settings and close-range conversations

And enjoy the outdoors.

“Air conditioning is not your friend,” DeSantis said. “Outdoors is your friend. Sunshine is your friend. Heat and humidity are your friend.”

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