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DeSantis: Bars Will Shut Down Statewide, Crowds Restricted At Restaurants And Beaches

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Florida Governor's Office
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Ron DeSantis this morning announced a number of measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida.

One of them involves closing bars and nightclubs for the next 30 days beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.

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DeSantis said too many people are congregating in these places.

"Stealth carriers, people who don't have symptoms, but then are nevertheless passing along or have such mild symptoms is something that really nobody has a handle on that,” DeSantis said. “If they're not meeting in those big groups the chances of that being passed on is less."

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Restaurants are also asked to operate at 50% occupancy, with seating staggered and parties required to sit at least six feet apart, this is similar to what's happening in California.

“We're also going to be requiring that the restaurants screen all employees and prohibit entry for employees that may have a positive response to any of the trigger questions in terms of health,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis is also encouraging people to get takeout and delivery for food instead.

Beachgoers are asked to meet in groups smaller than 10.

He’s also recommending to the Board of Governors that all state universities switch to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester after four University of Florida students tested positive for COVID-19.

“The goal of that is that the students not stay congregated on campus, but actually return home,” DeSantis said. “We think that that'll be safer for everybody. And we think that the universities are equipped to be able to handle the remote learning.”

The governor said another announcement will be made later with additional details about university closings.

CORONAVIRUS: Complete Coverage On WUSF And Health News Florida

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Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.
Daylina Miller
Daylina Miller, multimedia reporter for Health News Florida, was hired to help further expand health coverage statewide.