JUNE 25, 2020 | 10:15 P.M. | TREASURE COAST–Three weeks after the state allowed bars and restaurants to open with some restrictions, at least four establishments have closed their doors again because employees or patrons tested positive for COVID-19.
Last Monday, the popular seaside Shuckers on Hutchinson Island closed after it reported that at least one employee had tested positive for the virus, and it, “had emanated from their establishment.” Their answering system said the restaurant would re-open today. That did not happen. (Editor’s note: As of Friday, Shuckers will re-open at 3 p.m. The restaurant management said the staff tested negative.)
The Stuart Boathouse announced today that it was closing because of the proximity of cases nearby. There is no word when they will re-open.
The same was true for two bars in Port St. Lucie, the owner of Bogey’s & Stogeys on Port St. Lucie Blvd. and its sister bar, the Gin Mill in White City, announced that employees were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
“I feel that it is our obligation to slow the spread. We will all be getting tested and the bar will be completely sanitized,” said owner Mary Dawn Vanderbush.
For bars, the state required patrons must be seated at least six feet apart. However, photos from around the Treasure Coast showed customers were standing in crowded groups.
On Saturday afternoon at Tako Tiki, in Jensen Beach, the small outdoor bar was packed with customers elbow to elbow with no warning from the staff or the owner.
The same was true at Kyle G’s, on Hutchinson Island. The outside deck was filled with patrons with no social distancing.
At City Limits on Southwest Gatlin Boulevard in Port St. Lucie, bartenders did send out notices to their patrons about the state limitations.
The problem arises when employees work at multiple bars and restaurants as is known to be the case in at least one bar and three restaurants. Currently, the state and local regulations do not require owners to report employees who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Treasure Coast is now at 3,536, according to the Florida Department of Health Data.
Martin County saw an increase of 36 new cases Thursday evening, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 1,673 with 23 deaths.
St. Lucie County now has 1,384 cumulative cases, an increase of 51. The county’s death toll is now 45.