Beach bars open, reclose after COVID-19 concerns

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As Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced that Phase II of reopening was in effect, bars, movie theaters and entertainment venues started accepting patrons.

That very same day, a handful visitors of the restaurant and bar, Lynch’s Irish Pub, reported via Facebook that they had contracted COVID-19, believing it came from the pub.

Mayo nurse, Erika Crisp, posted on June 10 that she had contracted the virus.

“Welp, Florida opened back up and my a** should’ve stayed home this past weekend ‘cause I just tested positive for the d*** COVID,” Crisp said on Facebook.

Crisp reported she believes she contracted the virus at Lynch’s after a few of her friends from the same night reported symptoms, along with a couple strangers who messaged her after reading her post, telling her they were also at the bar that night and started having symptoms.

“This thing clearly spread rapidly amongst us on Saturday from an unknown source,” Crisp posted. “I’ve even received messages from other people who happened to be in the same place in different groups that they are also very sick. Clearly this thing is alarmingly highly contagious. Be safe out there y’all.”

Lynch’s Irish Pub announced it was closing for cleaning on June 13, due to numerous reports of customers testing positive.

‪Keith Doherty, owner of Lynch’s, told News4Jax after 49 employees were tested, seven came back positive for COVOD-19 and are self-isolating. Doherty said sanitation procedures cost for the temporary closing cost about $7,000.

Following suite, Jacksonville Beach’s the Tavern and the Wreck Tiki Lounge closed their doors the following day, with Mellow Mushroom and Taco Lu soon after. In a statement released by the owner of the Tavern, the bar will be sanitizing and having staff get tested during the interim.

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