Florida halts consumption of alcohol at bars statewide amid COVID-19 spike.
Alcohol consumption at all bars throughout Florida has been halted amid concerns over record-breaking surges in coronavirus cases throughout the state effective immediately, according to The Florida Department of Business and Regulatory affairs.
The announcement was tweeted by Department Secretary Haley Beshears on Friday, June 26, and does not address restaurants that serve alcohol or bars that serve food.
According to the executive order, “all vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises who derive more than 50% of gross revenue from such sales of alcoholic beverages shall suspend such sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.”
However, impacted vendors are permitted to sell alcohol for takeout “in sealed containers.”
Thousands of new coronavirus cases have been reported daily throughout Florida, shattering previous records from when the pandemic began.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 8,942 new cases of COVID-19, 39 new deaths, and 212 recent hospitalizations have been reported by Friday morning. The state is also reporting a 13.5% positivity rate for all new tests conducted.
122,960 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported within Florida, with 13,987 hospitalizations and 3,366 deaths, according to the most recent data from the state’s Covid-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard. Lee County accounts for 4,757 cases and 152 deaths.
Since Saturday, over 24,000 new cases have been reported – more than a fifth of the infections confirmed throughout the state since March.
Florida remains in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. Officials throughout the state have partially attributed the astronomical rise in cases to young adults visiting bars and other social establishments.