A popular bar in central Florida where dozens of workers and patrons have come down with the new coronavirus had its alcohol license suspended after a state inspector found patrons weren't socially distancing and following other rules meant to slow the virus' spread.
At least 13 employees and 28 patrons have tested positive for COVID-19 at the The Knight's Pub, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said late Monday in a statement.
But the number of cases linked to the bar could be much higher. Dr. Raul Pino, a state health officer in Orlando, said Monday, without naming the establishment, that a bar near the University of Central Florida campus had been linked to 152 coronavirus cases.
The license suspension comes as Florida's caseload surpassed the 100,000-person mark and scores of bars and restaurants across Florida have voluntarily closed for a short time because patrons or workers came down with the virus.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday warned that bars would be getting visits from inspectors with the state licensing office — “the grim reaper here" — and, after a warning, those not following social distancing and other guidelines meant to stop the virus' spread would lose their liquor licenses.
“The guidelines are in place for a reason. We want environments that aren’t going to be a huge risk of transmissions," DeSantis said at a news conference at a hospital in Orlando. “If you go in, and it's Dance Party USA, dancing up to the rafters, that's not cut-and-dry. There's no tolerance for that."