16 friends go to Florida bar and all later test positive for COVID-19

The group of friends said they had been extra careful before their city reopened public spaces

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A group of 16 friends say they have tested positive for COVID-19 after spending a night at a reopened Florida bar.

The crew visited Lynch's Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach on June 6, according to a report by News4Jax. Erika Crisp, who is a health care worker, said she and her friends visited the pub, but they had been careful and social distanced throughout the quarantine for months "doing everything the right way."

“And then the first night we go out, Murphy’s Law, I guess,” the 40-year-old told the news station. “The only thing we have in common is that one night at that one bar.”

The comrades had gathered for a friend's birthday, Kat Layton, one of Crisp's friends, told CNN recently. The bar was crowded, and no one was wearing a mask.

“Standing there in front of those people, we knew we were pushing it,” Layton said.

For the friend group, the coronavirus had been out of the realm of reality at the time, with cases dropping in Florida and across the nation. However, within days of their bar outing, the text message group among the friends started buzzing with the same message of  “positive” in regards to their COVID-19 statuses.

“Receiving the text messages that my friends were just boom, positive, boom, positive, boom, positive, back to back to back, it was overwhelming,” Dara Sweat told CNN.

Crisp said she began to feel a shortness of breath as one of her COVID-19 symptoms. The others reported flu-like symptoms. She now regrets going out that night.

"I think we were careless, and we went out into a public place when we should not have. 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," Crisp said.

After learning that some customers came down with coronavirus, Lynch’s Pub shut down last weekend and underwent a deep cleaning, according to News4Jax’s report.

At least seven employees who work at Lynch's Irish Pub have since tested positive for the coronavirus, WJXX reported.

As several restaurants, bars and other public spaces have reopened, Florida reported a record number of new cases Monday, according to the Florida Department of Health.

In at least 12 states and Puerto Rico, the cases have reached their highest seven-day rate since the outbreak began, according to The Washington Post. In Texas, North and South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona, an increasing number of patients are under supervised care since the holiday weekend because of COVID-19 infections. The spikes generally began in the last few weeks and in most states are trending higher.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will not change course on reopening the state.

“No, we’re not shutting down, you know, we’re going to go forward. 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,” DeSantis said in a recent news conference.

Layton said she wants the story of her and her friends to be a lesson for others before they decide to engage in public spaces this summer.

“We want to raise awareness and get ahead of it,” Layton said in her CNN interview. “We want to tell people it’s really not ready for what we thought it was ready for; it’s too soon.”