Florida just suspended any alcohol consumption at bars statewide

Florida now has a 13.5% positivity rate for new tests conducted, and has had 24 straight days with new cases near or over 1,000 per day.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DYLAN MELCHER
Photo by Dylan Melcher

After the Department of Health reported nearly 9,000 new COVID-19 cases in Florida, the state is suspending the consumption of alcohol at all bars statewide.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon on Twitter by Halsey Beshears, the Secretary of Department of Business & Professional Regulation. “Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide,” wrote Beshears.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation also confirmed the ban minutes later. 

There's still plenty of details that aren't clear. According to the Executive Order, which you can read in its entirety here, establishments are still allowed to serve alcohol, as long they derive 50% or less of gross revenue from the sale of on-site booze. Establishments that derive more than 50% of gross sales from alcohol, will not be able to continue to operate. 

However, bars will be able to continue selling pre-packaged alcohol. 

The order was made shortly after the state reported 8,942 new coronavirus cases, a new single-day record that absolutely demolishes the state’s previous record of 5,511 new cases, which was just set on Wednesday.

While admitting Florida isn’t ready for Phase 3 reopening, DeSantis has previously said that he would not “roll back” any restrictive measures, and has resisted a statewide mask order. 

Today, the Governor of Texas announced that his state would close all bars, and roll back restaurant occupancy. 

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”

Florida now has a 13.5% positivity rate for new tests conducted, and has had 24 straight days with new cases near or over 1,000 per day.

According to Johns Hopkins, "On May 12, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (ie, out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) of should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days."

UPDATED: 06/26/20 1:20 p.m. Updated with links to, and info on, the executive order.

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.

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