JUNE 6, 2020 | 7:53 A.M. | TREASURE COAST–For the first time in nearly 11 weeks bars and pubs opened up their doors at noon Thursday.
At precisely 12:01 p.m. three patrons entered Bogeys and Stogeys on Port St. Lucie Boulevard to take their first sips of beer in their favorite hangout.
Bar owner, Mary Dawn Vanderbush, was arranging and cleaning high-top tables while bartender, Cassidy Tarble poured from the taps. The bar chairs were set six feet apart yet close enough for the patrons to restart their conversations just were they left off in March.
At the Coconut bar in Port Salerno, bartender Dawn Ogden, was shaking up the drinks as patron began to drift in. The electronic jukebox was already blaring hard rock to the tone-deaf customers.
The state allowed bars to open at 50 percent capacity yesterday.
Floridians desperate for normalcy went out and got brews and sported new tattoos or watched movies outside of their living rooms.
The announcement covers 64 of the state’s 67 counties and came after the virus pushed the state’s unemployment rate to 12.9 percent in April, representing an estimated 1.218 million Floridians qualifying as unemployed.
“Now, the virus isn’t gone,” DeSantis acknowledged, adding that the state is conducting “a lot” of testing. “But I think we have an opportunity to continue to move forward in a safe, smart, step-by-step approach, and I think it gets more people in Florida more opportunities.”
The Florida Department of Health reported Thursday the largest single-day increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, at 1,419. That increase followed 1,317 cases announced Wednesday, the largest single-day increase at that time since 1,413 were announced April 17. These cases would have been from tests done about the time of the Memorial Day weekend.