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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings Says He’s Prepared to Shut Bars Down Locally If They Lead to Outbreaks

Photo: Patrick Tomasso

Ahead of bars reopening on Monday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said most owners will follow safety protocol in order to remain open.

But Demings said special agents from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation along with Orange County strike teams will work weekends to monitor them just in case.

He said if the Department of Health alerts him to outbreaks linked to bars, he would be prepared to shut down them. 

“That will cause a conversation with the governor and his related order and we will look then within our own local authority of whether or not we need to make any adjustments or not.” 

Dyer said it wouldn’t be that easy to determine whether an increase or spike was caused by bars with much of Central Florida reopening.

“We’ve got football games that are going to be played at UCF with 20 percent capacity. We’ve got soccer games the same. Of course we’ve got all the kids that have gone back to schools. We have visitation at nursing homes. We’re about to start the flu season again.” 

Pubs and breweries will reopen at 50 percent on Monday with indoor patrons seated for service and outdoor patrons observing social distancing on patios and parking lots. 

Establishments that only serve alcohol have been closed in the state since June.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »