Florida Woman, 15 Friends Test Positive for Coronavirus After Dinner at Restaurant

At least seven employees at Lynch's Irish Pub in Jacksonville also tested positive for COVID-19

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Florida health care worker and 15 of her friends tested positive for COVID-19 after gathering for a birthday celebration at a newly-reopened pub in Jacksonville.

Erika Crisp told WJXT that after months of staying home and "doing everything the right way" because of the coronavirus pandemic, she and her friends decided to go to Lynch's Irish Pub on June 6.

Crisp said she became sick after the night out, and she and her friends all later tested positive for the virus. She told the news outlet she believes it was spread at the bar because their only commonality was "that one night at that one bar.”

"I should have known better. I should have been more cautious. But alas, it is what it is," Crisp wrote in Facebook post. "I have it, my friends have it, we can give you that info & you can do with it what you will. I encourage everyone to be considerate of others."

Relaxing social distancing guidelines may have caused a spike in coronavirus cases for 21 states. Arizona has seen a 40-percent increase in cases since last week, and eight of every 10 hospital beds are now in use after the state lifted its stay-at-home orders on May 15th.

She wrote on Facebook that over 20 strangers have also contacted her through the social media site to say they also went to Lynch's and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

The gathering of friends came on the first weekend that bars were allowed to reopen in most counties in Florida, which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

Kat Layton, another member of the group, told First Coast News she regrets going out that night and believes the state reopened too soon, giving residents a false sense of safety. She said she learned from this experience and urged others to be more cautious.

“I have to do my part in letting people know that it’s not about us," she said. "It’s not about how you feel always because you could be contracting the disease and giving it out without showing any symptoms."

After hearing about their cases, Lynch's general manager voluntarily closed the bar for a deep cleaning and had all employees get tested for COVID-19, with seven of them testing positive.

Contact Us