TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered bars to stop selling alcohol on site as the state’s daily coronavirus caseload jumped more than 55 percent overnight.
Florida reported 8,933 new coronavirus cases on Friday, smashing the previous record of 5,463 recorded June 23.
“Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide,” Secretary Halsey Beshears tweeted minutes after the new numbers posted. Establishments can still sell drinks to go.
DeSantis, a Republican, had allowed most Florida bars to open with limited seating on June 3. Now, with the number of positive cases spiking, he has joined governors in Texas and Arizona to roll back limits on gatherings where the virus could be spread.
Florida, an election battleground and a must-win state for President Donald Trump, is preparing to host keynote events of the Republican National Committee in Jacksonville in August.
DeSantis is scheduled to hold a briefing at 2 p.m. Friday in Fort Myers.