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Florida Bars and Nightclubs To Close As DeSantis Aims To Stop Virus Spread In Young People

Image: Governor Ron DeSantis, flgov.smugmug.com
Image: Governor Ron DeSantis, flgov.smugmug.com

Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering bars and nightclubs across Florida to shut down for 30 days beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday. 

The governor announced the measure as one of several aimed at preventing young people from gathering in crowds. People can spread COVID-19 even if they are not showing serious symptoms. DeSantis says the measure follows the Trump administration’s guidance Monday that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. 

“You have a lot of the younger folks who really are going to be key to this, and so it is our hope these new restrictions will reduce the ability of folks to congregate in large numbers.” 

DeSantis also directed restaurants to reduce capacity by 50 percent and stagger seating so that groups are at least six feet apart. He recommended ordering take-out instead and said he would support local governments that want to take further steps.  

Meawhile the governor is calling on the Florida Board of Governors to transition colleges and universities to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester. 

The announcement comes after four University of Florida students tested positive for the novel coronavirus. At least some of the new cases were believed to be connected with travel.

DeSantis also announced another death -- a 77-year-old man at an assisted-living facility in Broward County. He says the facility was taking steps to isolate the other patients. 

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.