Florida Bans Alcohol Consumption At Bars Amid Record High Coronavirus Cases

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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As Florida’s coronavirus cases inch past record numbers, the state banned alcohol consumption at bars, claiming that they are partially to blame for the outbreak among young people.

Shortly after the Department of Health reported 8,942 new confirmed cases in the state, a record number, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation tweeted the ban, which was ordered to take effect immediately beginning Friday, according to the Orlando Sentinel

“Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide,‘’ Halsey Beshears, the Secretary of the agency tweeted. 

Since Saturday, more than 24,000 new cases have been reported, and 3,327 people have died of the virus. State officials believe the spike in cases can be partially attributed to young adults crowding at bars, according to the Associated Press.

In total, Florida has recorded 122,960 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,366 have died.

Some business owners are frustrated by the “broad brush” approach Florida has taken, which applies wholesale to businesses with large and small spaces where social-distancing guidelines could be implemented differently. 

“You’re taking huge venues and dance clubs and putting them in the same situation as a 2,000-square-foot bar and pub,” Matty Bullitt, a manager of multiple Orlando bars told the Orlando Sentinel. “Just to single out bars and crush that business, it’s tough to swallow,” he said.

As many states experience an influx of coronavirus cases, Texas also ordered a temporary pause on the state’s economic reopening due to the surge in infections, ordering bars be shut down across the state for the second time Friday. 

Texas has seen a 70% increase in coronavirus cases in the past week and Houston’s largest medical center has expressed concern about the hospital being overwhelmed by hospitalizations.

“Young people tend to be more active in communal gathering, which can further contribute to the spread of the virus,” TMC added. “To that end, we implore young citizens to take it upon themselves to commit to physically distance as much as possible and to wear masks when socializing with one another,” Texas Medical Center said. (RELATED: Texas To Pause Further Reopening Amid Spike In Coronavirus Cases)