Newsweek reported Monday that at least three bars in Northern and Central Florida announced they would temporarily close down their establishments due to customers testing positive for the virus over the weekend.
Two of the three bars are located in Jacksonville Beach. The owner of Lynch's Irish Pub, Keith Doherty, confirmed to the local CBS affiliate that it was closed for sanitation.
Erika Crisp, a care worker from Jacksonville, was among those who tested positive for COVID-19 after hitting up Lynch's on June 6. The 40-year-old told WJXT TV she visited the pub with a group of friends after months of self-isolating. She went on to say she regretted the outing and considered it a hard lesson.
"I think we were careless and we went out into a public place when we should not have. And we were not wearing masks. I think we had a whole 'Out of sight, out of mind' mentality," Crisp said. "The state opens back up and said everybody was fine, so we took advantage of that."
Fifteen of her friends have also tested positive for the disease.
"We should be wearing masks. We should be social distancing," she added. "It was too soon to open everything back up."
The owner of Jacksonville Beach's Wreck Tiki Lounge, Fernando Meza, also released a statement regarding the bar's closing.
"Our establishment has become aware of positive tests for COVID-19 and have visited our business," Meza wrote per Newsweek. "We will be closed the next few days to sanitize the bar and send our staff to get tested."
The third bar, Kiwi's Pub & Grill, is in Altamonte Springs, Florida. It released an announcement on Friday informing its customers that they would be closed for business.
"It saddens me to say that Kiwi's will be closing temporarily effective immediately. We have been informed by six different people today that they have been infected with the coronavirus and they have been inside Kiwis's within the last week," the statement reads. "This may seem like an extravagant step, however, we are taking no chances with the health of our staff and our customers."
Governor Ron DeSantis allowed bars, taverns, and pubs to start accepting customers at half capacity on June 5. This adhered to the state's Phase 2 guidelines which exclude Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties as they are determining their own timeline.
Florida has reportedly seen an increase in coronavirus cases since reopening. Per the state's Department of Health, over 2,500 new cases were confirmed on Saturday. This adds to the more than 75,000 Floridians who have contracted the virus since the outbreak leading to over 2,900 deaths.