Gov. DeSantis orders bars and nightclubs to close, announces 4 UF students have coronavirus

By: Michael Hudak | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 17, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday that all nightclubs and bars in the state will close for 30 days. The businesses will be ordered to shut down starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The governor is also implementing a 50% capacity limitation on restaurants, and asking that seating be staggered and limited.

He’s also encouraging people to utilize takeout and delivery, and requiring restaurants to screen all employees for symptoms of illness.

The governor says this is “the floor” for Florida for the foreseeable future. He says some local communities, such as Miami, will probably go further than that.

Four University of Florida students have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, Gov. Desantis said in the press conference.

This comes as the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to grow. As of Tuesday morning, there were 186 confirmed cases across 25 counties. Of those cases, 173 are Florida residents. There are six Florida residents who were diagnosed with coronavirus outside the state, who are currently being isolated.

He went on to say he will recommend all universities transition to remote teaching for the rest of the spring semester.

Gov. DeSantis also announced another Florida resident has died in Broward County. The man was 77 years old and lived at an assisted living facility. The death toll in Florida is now at six.

Broward County has the most cases, followed by Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Schools across the state have already shut down for the next several weeks to try to prevent spread of the virus. Many workers are being asked to work from home.

You can watch the full press conference, which was broadcast live on WCTV's Facebook page, below.

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