Local bars ordered to close immediately

Mandate comes after more than 9,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in 24-hour period

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reversed his plans for a gradual reopening Friday by immediately restricting bars from selling alcohol on the premise. The emergency order came after the state reported 9,000 positive cases for COVID-19 since Thursday.

The order reads any business that relies on more than 50% of its gross revenues from selling alcohol must reduce its sales to selling beverages on sealed containers to be consumed away from the bar.

The order doesn’t affect restaurants that get more than 51% of its revenue from the sales of food. Those restaurants also are allowed to sell alcohol.

At the same time, DeSantis asked local officials to make sure all businesses continue to adhere to current social distancing guidelines, including keeping occupancy at less than 50%.

According Clay County officials, in-store retail businesses including gyms and fitness centers may operate at full capacity while maintaining appropriate physical distancing and sanitation protocols.

Also, Clay County entertainment businesses including, but not limited to, movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades may operate at 50% capacity with appropriate physical distancing between groups and appropriate sanitation.

Personal services may operate with appropriate safety guidelines as outlined by the Department of Health.

All Clay County youth activity facilities and multipurpose fields are open to the public.

Bookings at Clay County vacation rentals may continue.

Elective medical procedures may continue at Clay County hospital and office surgical centers, dental office, orthodontic office, endodontic office and other health care practitioners’ offices.

Clay County will not allow visits to nursing home or long-term care facilities during phase two of the reopening plan to avoid any possible exposure from asymptomatic individuals.

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