Woman and 15 friends infected with coronavirus after pub outing

A healthcare worker and 15 of her friends have tested positive for coronavirus after going out to celebrate the end of lockdown.

Erika Crisp says she regrets heading to the pub after “doing everything the right way”.

The 40-year-old Florida woman told US news outlet News4Jax she and her friends had been social distancing and staying indoors before June 6 when they decided to meet for drinks at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach.

After celebrating the end of lockdown, Erika Crisp says she and 15 friends tested positive for coronavirus. Source: News4Jax

“The state opens back up and said everybody was fine, so we took advantage of that,” Ms Crisp said. 

“And then the first night we go out, Murphy’s Law, I guess.”

According to Buzzfeed, Ms Crisp posted on her Facebook she had returned a positive result for coronavirus and thought an asymptomatic person spread the virus.

She also wrote since her post gained attention, she had been contacted by 20 strangers who went to the same bar and had also tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s the common denominator from a bunch of strangers. And no, we did NOT bar hop. It was the ONLY bar my group of people went to & it was the only time I saw them,” Ms Crisp said, according to Buzzfeed.

Lynch's Irish Pub in Jacksonville, Florida, where Ms Crisp and her friends went to on their night out. Source: First Coast News

After hearing customers has become infected, the pub voluntarily closed for deep cleaning with general manager Keith Doherty telling News4Jax: “It literally spread like wildfire.”

Ms Crisp told News4Jax it was “too soon to open everything back up” and she regreted not wearing a mask.

“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,” she said.

A group of health experts have recently called for the Governor of Florida to make face coverings in public mandatory after more than 14,000 Florida residents tested positive to the virus in the past week.

“You may not like wearing a mask, but it beats wearing a ventilator,” Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Dr Ron Saff said, according to news outlet WFLA.

Meanwhile Governor Ron DeSantis attributes the sudden rise in positive cases to increased testing.

“We should be trusting people to make good decisions. Floridians have shown they can do that,” Mr DeSantis said.

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