"Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on-premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide," a statement shared to the agency's official Twitter account confirmed on Friday. The same day, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) reported 8,942 new positive COVID-19 cases.
Per the Associated Press, that number—no doubt worsened by the prevalence of aforementioned idiocy—bests the state's previous record of 5,500 new cases that was set quite recently. "Quite recently" meaning this Wednesday.
As reported earlier this week, Florida also boasts the distinction of having more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the virus. According to the most recent updates from the DOH on Friday, the state now has 120,574 cases among residents and an additional 2,386 cases in non-Florida residents.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also announced that his state's bars will have to close due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Restaurants in Texas will be able to remain open but capacity must be below 50 percent capacity.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10% the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said, per NBC News. "At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars."
Of course, in a nation full of people who can't be bothered to do something as simple as wear a goddamn mask, none of this is surprising. And while Florida has bagged plenty of virus-related headlines, including this stumble-prone and angrily mask-averse Walmart shopper, it's certainly not the only state with a huge swath of citizens apparently hell-bent on making things worse for everyone.
The White House's so-called "task force" on virus matters held a briefing on Friday amid rising case numbers across the country. The briefing, in keeping with the administration's pattern of general indifference, marks the first such event in nearly two months. As usual, Mike Pence said nothing of value during the briefing.