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Florida Woman And 15 Friends Get Coronavirus After Bar Night: 'It Was Too Soon'

A Florida healthcare worker is speaking out after she and 15 of her friends tested positive for the coronavirus following a night out at a Jacksonville Beach bar, News4Jax reported.

Erika Crisp says that on June 6, she and more than a dozen of her pals headed to Lynch's Irish Pub for a night of drinks and celebration after spending months in lockdown. However, that first trip out would ultimately prove to be the moment when all 16 people were exposed to the very virus they'd spent so long avoiding.

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After learning that she and her friends were all infected, Crisp realized that bar night was the common denominator among all of them.


As she told News4Jax, they'd all been social distancing and staying indoors for the last several months “doing everything the right way.” Of course, that is until bars in Florida reopened this month, prompting a trip to Lynch's.

"The first night we go out, Murphy’s Law, I guess,” Crisp said. “The only thing we have in common is that one night at that one bar.”

Though a healthcare worker herself, Crisp said neither she nor any of her friends wore masks during that outing, something she seriously regrets now.

Facebook | Erika Crisp

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

Now she says she and her friends have all been sick for the past week, and are experiencing breathing problems linked to the virus.

On Friday, Lynch's closed to the public for a thorough sanitization, and has already reopened again despite even more coronavirus cases being reported.

Facebook | Lynch's Irish Pub

According to First Coast News, all 49 staff members at the bar have been tested for the virus, with seven coming back positive and 31 negative so far.

Owner Keith Doherty said all seven positive cases were staff who worked on the night of June 6 — the same night Crisp and her friends visited the bar. But Doherty said he believes it was a customer who brought the virus into his business.

Although Lynch's reopened on Tuesday, it's undergone major changes to try to protect its staff and patrons, and to limit the spread of the virus.

Facebook | Lynch's Irish Pub

“We can’t guarantee that people aren’t going to get sick because of the nature of this virus, but we’re going to keep on top of what we can do to prevent things," Doherty told First Coast News.

He added that following the $7,000 sanitation, the bar has also implemented several hand sanitizer stations, and will subject customers and employees to temperature checks upon entry.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, Crisp acknowledged that Lynch's "stepped up and did the right thing."

Unsplash | Bára Buri

She also told News4Jax that her misstep should act as a lesson for everyone else.

“We should be wearing masks. We should be social distancing,” Crisp said. “It was too soon to open everything back up.”

h/t: News4Jax, First Coast News

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