Florida Bars Reopened, Safety Tips If You Plan To Go Out

  • by Kasey Bubb
  • September 16, 2020
  • 878 views

Florida bars and craft breweries reopened Monday at 50% occupancy after over 2 months of being shut down to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) took to Twitter to state what bars must do to comply with safety measures.

Jacksonville bars and breweries are excited about reopening and we talked with one of our favorite local breweries who is going the extra mile to keep patrons as safe as possible.

Hyperion Brewing Company’s staff and customer safety is at the forefront of every decision we make. We love our customers and want to provide them with a fun and safe space to enjoy craft beer and local food, said Alex McKeown, owner of Hyperion Brewing Company. Masks are required in our taproom for both staff and customers. We provide masks to anyone who may have misplaced theirs. Hand sanitizing stations are inside and at all entries of the taproom. We expanded our beer garden space and rearranged our taproom tables. Our hours of operation have been dialed back to add extra time for opening and closing sanitation with additional deep cleans weekly. Hyperion is our favorite place, we love our customers and our community. We are committed to keeping everyone safe, smiling and enjoying delicious local craft beer and food.

According to medical experts at Baptist Health as well as CDC recommendations, attending bars is one of the more high-risk activities when it comes to catching and spreading COVID-19 (see infographic at the bottom of the page). However, we’re all human at the end of the day and need to have social lives as well as support our favorite local bars and breweries. We chatted with Elizabeth Ransom, MD, FACS and Chief Physician Executive of Baptist Health to hear her tips on how to stay safest if you plan to go out to the bars. 

When it comes to the bars reopening, the safety recommendations aren’t really different than they are with anything else, whether that’s a restaurant or going to a grocery store, Dr. Ransom stated. The important thing to remember is that the virus is transmitted through particles that are spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, and talking. So, the idea is that physical distancing is important to reduce your exposure to those virus particles.

Dr. Ransom emphasized that people should use their best judgement and personal awareness when out and about. If you’re going into a bar that’s crowded and people are not wearing masks, it’s smart to seek a different venue. On the flip side, if you’re in a bar with ample outdoor seating and the staff is wearing masks as well as cleaning regularly, you can know you’re in a safer environment.

Before going out, Dr. Ransom suggests that you make sure you’re not feeling sick, have a clean mask to wear, and carry a personal bottle of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Use that regularly as you touch countertops, door handles, and other surfaces.

If you’re feeling sick after going out, yes it may be a hangover, but it also may be smart to get a COVID-19 test. Symptoms appear 5 days after exposure on average, but that can range anywhere from 2 to 14 days. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. Visit covid19.baptistjax.com for more information on how to seek medical advice or get tested.

Looking for new bars and breweries? Check out our article on Open Air Dining as well as our 904 Brewery Guide. Stay safe out there JAX and bar hop responsibly!

Thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Ransom for your valuable advice.

At Baptist Health, we want to help keep our community informed about COVID-19. For more information, visit covid19.baptistjax.com

For questions about COVID-19 symptoms, call 904.302.5050. Baptist Health physicians are here for you during this time and can diagnose, treat and prescribe medications virtually. Request an online doctor appointment here.

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