11 Orlando-area bars discovered not following COVID-19 guidelines, mayor says – WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

16November 2020

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.– Nearly a dozen bars visited by Orange County’s strike teams over the weekend were discovered not in compliance with the county’s COVID-19 guidelines, according to Mayor Jerry Demings.

Demings said during a coronavirus news instruction Monday afternoon that 11 bars– eight in downtown Orlando and three near UCF– were visited Saturday by the county’s strike teams, which aim to educate services on COVID-19 protocols in hopes of keeping services securely open during the pandemic.

The strike teams visit services and search for things like social distancing steps, the enforcement of mask-wearing and increased sanitization. According to Demings, none of those guidelines were being followed at any of the bars checked out Saturday.

In addition to the noncompliance issues, Demings said some patrons and bar owners mistreated members of the strike teams.

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“Our strike teams discovered no masks, no social distancing no hand sanitizers, and no disinfectant at each of the bars checked out,” Demings said. “In addition, a few of the members of our teams were insulted by the patrons. And I’m told that a few of the bar owners were less than cooperative.”

Demings asked members of the neighborhood to bear in mind that the strike teams are going to services to avoid shutdowns like the county saw at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and that other big cities are seeing now as COVID-19 makes a renewal across the U.S.

“I want that bar owners didn’t view these check outs as intrusive. We’re simply attempting to keep our bars, open. Perhaps we can gain from the cautionary tales of other metro areas where bars have been closed,” Demings said.

The following bars were discovered not in compliance by the strike teams over the weekend, according to Orange County authorities:

  • Orange County bars
    • Knight’s Bar
    • Knight Library
    • Infinity Bar
  • Orlando bars
    • Elixir
    • The Basement Orlando
    • The Workplace Orlando
    • Saddle Up
    • Gilt
    • The Treehouse Orlando
    • Celine Bar
    • The Attic Orlando

Considering that the strike teams were organized earlier this year, they have visited 4,910 services with a newbie compliance rate of 87%.

[READ MORE: Violation leads to alcohol license suspension at downtown Orlando bars | Knight’s Bar owner says old pictures partly to blame for alcohol license suspension]

The alerting to bar owners and patrons comes as Florida’s everyday number of brand-new coronavirus cases continues to rise. On Sunday, Florida reported more than 10,000 brand-new cases, the highest number of brand-new everyday cases the state has seen because July, around the time the very first major wave of the virus peaked in Florida. Of those cases, 745 were reported in Orange County, though Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said Monday that the spike was partly due to a lab in Brevard County disposing information on Saturday for numerous days of screening.

Pino warned that the neighborhood needs to anticipate to see numbers that high, however, if the neighborhood continues to unwind when it concerns COVID-19 preventative measures.

According to Pino, Orange County saw 36% increase in COVID-19 cases last week compared to the week prior, the highest week-over-week increase the county has seen in 15 weeks.

While other services have been open for months, bars were just okayed to reopen a few weeks ago in September after attempting to reopen earlier this year and being forced to shut down once again as COVID-19 cases began to rise.

With increasing numbers once again being reflected in Florida’s coronavirus information and issues being reported at the county’s bars, press reporters at Monday’s instruction asked Demings and Orlando Mayor Friend Dyer whether it was time to consider placing more limitations on bars once again.

Demings said an executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis makes it difficult for local leaders to do that.

[READ MORE: Orange County leaders, services captured off guard by Florida governor’s stage 3 executive order | Bars across Florida enabled to reopen]

“Well, I simply want to advise you that not too long earlier, Gov. DeSantis, by executive order, got rid of the capability of local governments to invoke charges if you will for infractions for individuals. There remains a possibility that we could have charges for services, we have not done that at this time. The governor set the threshold, very high, in that if we, at the local level, institute, additional limitations, we have to be able to define the financial effect on services and a number of other things that really complicates the conversation considerably,” Demings said.

Both mayors said they are ruling out issuing curfews at this time however will continue to monitor the information and re-evaluate. A mask mandate remains in result for Orange County.

Tim Boldig, the Deputy Director preparing developmental and environmental services responded to the most recent upgraded.

“It’s disappointing since we strove to keep these numbers low,” he said.

“The general public has been complaining and we have been receiving photos and videos of all these bars and what is happening,” Dr. Pino said.

During Monday’s press conference, Dyer said citizens of Orlando understand what they need to do and said wearing a mask is one of the most patriotic and essential things citizens can do.

“You’re protecting those around you, and you’re protecting those that live in your city, in your state, in your country. Right now, as the numbers continue to climb up a little bit and we have events where people are going to want to be together, there’s nothing more essential that you can do to help with the economy and the safety of our people than use a mask,” Dyer said.Source: clickorlando.com

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