Sixteen friends all gathered for a birthday celebration at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville, Florida on June 6. Unfortunately, they all regret it after testing positive for COVID-19, along with seven employees.
What We Know:
- On June 6, Erika Crisp and 15 of her friends went out to Lynch’s Irish Pub, a bar in Jacksonville, Florida, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The bar was crowded and no one was wearing masks. Since the state was reopening and the mayor and governor said that everything was fine, they saw no trouble in going out.
- “I think we were careless, and we went out into a public place when we should not have,” Crisp said. “And we were not wearing masks. I think we had a whole ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. The state opens back up and said everybody was fine, so we took advantage of that.”
- Within days, everything took a turn when all of them started getting sick. Dara Sweat, one of the friends at the bar said, “Receiving the text messages that my friends were just boom, positive, boom, positive, boom, positive, back to back to back, it was overwhelming.”
- Crisp said her first symptom was shortness of breath, one of the signs for COVID-19. And while they all tested positive for the coronavirus, their symptoms were more flu-like than seriously ill.
- Keith Doherty, Lynch’s general manager, closed the bar to have it effectively cleaned and he had his 49 employees get tested for coronavirus, with seven of them testing positive. Doherty said the bar will reopen Tuesday with additional safety measures like employees wearing masks, customers having their temperatures checked upon entry, and hand sanitizer available throughout the room.
- Crisp said she learned from her experience and thinks the state shouldn’t have reopened. “We should be wearing masks,” she said. “We should be social distancing. It was too soon to open everything back up.”
- However, the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis says that the state will not be closing and that the state is moving forward. “No, we’re not shutting down, you know, we’re going to go forward,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to continue to protect the most vulnerable. You know, we’re going to urge, continue to advise, particularly our elderly population to maintain social distancing, avoid crowds.”
The 16 friends said they’ve been messaged by other people who also got sick after going to the same bar that weekend.