Photo via Ron DeSantis/Twitter
At a Tuesday morning press conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars and nightclubs to close for 30 days starting a 5 p.m. on March 17 in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants are being ordered to screen employees before shifts, stagger seating by 6-feet to keep customers away from each other and operate at 50% capacity.
"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,” said DeSantis at the conference. “If they're not meeting in those big groups the chances of that being passed on is less."
DeSantis also asked that all Florida universities finish the spring semester online, after four University of Florida students recently tested positive for the virus.
“The goal of that is that the students not stay congregated on campus, but actually return home,” said DeSantis. “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.”
In addition, the state is also calling for no groups larger than 10 people at beaches.
DeSantis stated that the Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation will enforce the new rules, but did not go into more details.
This story originally ran in Creative Loafing Tampa and is a developing story.
Due to rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many Central Florida events have been postponed or canceled. Orlando's restaurants, venues and hospitality workers could use your support right now. Order takeout, buy gift cards and tip generously – but also call ahead to venues to make sure an event is still happening. As always, follow CDC guidelines on staying safe.