Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Florida closes bars as it reports almost 9,000 new coronavirus cases

Florida has suspended on-site alcohol consumption at bars after reporting a significant uptick in new COVID-19 cases.

The state on Friday reported 8,942 new coronavirus cases, surpassing the previous highest single-day increase, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Florida previously reported a record 5,508 new cases on Wednesday. The state has now shut down the consumption of alcohol at bars statewide, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said.

This is the latest rollback to take place as a result of rising COVID-19 cases. Also on Friday, Texas closed bars in the state (while allowing them to stay open for delivery and takeout), and scaled back restaurants' maximum capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent. Texas, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says is facing a "massive outbreak" of coronavirus, was the first state to reimpose a lockdown during the pandemic after previously announcing it would pause its reopening.

"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said.

For Florida, Bloomberg notes this is the first major shift in policy to occur for the state in response to its surge of cases.