Florida’s governor orders all bars to close for a month due to coronavirus

Ron DeSantis Florida

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Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered that all bars and nightclubs in Florida close Tuesday (St. Patrick’s Day) and stay closed for 30 days. He also ordered restaurants to reduce capacity to half.

DeSantis also announced there have been many more positive coronavirus patients in Florida and another death.

There have been 5 deaths in Florida and 192 people who have tested positive in Florida.

DeSantis said that four University of Florida students have tested positive. At least one is due to international travel. The governor is recommending that universities move to remote online learning for the rest of the semester so students can go home.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor warned that many more people probably are infected than have tested positive.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill says the county will be ramping up drive-through coronavirus testing.

“There’s been discussions going on with the department of health. I think we are at a point where we can stand up very quickly. Drive-through sites, which have been proven, I think so far, to be the best way to accomplish both of the things I mentioned protecting health care workers and getting an efficient collection sample.

“And so the city of Tampa and the County have been identifying sites that we are standing up now and many of them are already prepared to provide these drive-through services.

“The other advantage of a drive-through is that health care workers who are collecting samples don’t have to change their protective gear every time they see a patient because they are driving through and they’re just doing the tests one right after the other.

“There is a shortage right now still of protective gear, that will change, but that solves a big problem.

“What the private health care providers are doing now and have been doing is setting up the medical infrastructure to make sure that while we are doing this quickly and being efficient that we don’t lose track of the important medical paper trail because you have to then be able to get back to someone whose test has been taken to let them know or let their physician know.”

The Southwest Florida Water Management District announced that it is closing its offices and closing all of its campgrounds.

President Trump wants the government to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks in an effort to curb the economic cost of the coronavirus outbreak. That’s according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said today that “The president has instructed me, we have to do this now.” He didn’t give details except to say the amount should be significant and millionaires would not get it. The announcement came as the White House asked Congress to approve a massive economic rescue package for businesses and taxpayers. Stocks are rising.

information from the Associated Press was used in this report