Florida Reports 9,000 New Cases, Suspends Alcohol at Bars

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Florida reached a stunning new high number of single-day cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, logging 8,942 infections over the last 24 hour period. The median age of new cases was in the mid-30’s.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending the drinking of alcohol in bars effective immediately. All businesses that derive more than 50% of their total sales from alcohol are ordered to stop selling alcohol on their premises. Any restaurants that sell less than 50% in sales of alcohol will still be allowed to serve seated customers on site.

The move comes just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to pull the liquor licenses of bars that didn’t follow the state’s re-opening guidelines. During a Friday news conference in Naples, DeSantis said the order was issued because many people weren’t obeying the state’s reopening guidelines.

DeSantis left the announcement to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

A similar move came from Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, where all establishments that rake in more than 51 percent of income from alcohol had until noon to close their doors, although they would still be allowed to stay open for take-out or delivery sales.

Starting Monday, Texas restaurants will be reduced to 50% capacity.

See NBC and Tampa Bay Times.