A bar in Key West, Florida (Carol Tedesco / Florida Keys News Bureau / .) (Carol Tedesco /)

The news is not good in Florida. The state reported this Friday an absolute daily record of 8,942 new infected with COVID19 (The previous one was 5500 infections in one day). With this they add close to 123,000 cases since the pandemic began in the southern state that started its reopening process a month ago. It is also worrying about the great speed with which infections are occurring. In the last seven days Florida added 33,212 new infections.

With these developments, and avoiding having to re-impose an order for residents to stay in their homes, Authorities have just announced that the sale of alcohol in bars across the state is effectively banned immediately.

The measure, announced by the Florida Department of Commerce and Professional Regulations through its social networks, It does not affect restaurants that may continue to sell alcohol to their customers.

The logic behind this measure has to do with the state Health Department indicators indicating that Those who are getting coronavirus in a massive way are young people. The average age of the new infected this week is 33 years, far from the 65 and a half years that those who contracted the virus had in average in mid-March. For reasons of privacy, the Health Department has limitations when it comes to tracking where people could have been infected (and even greater limitations to publish those data), But state epidemiologists have been saying for days that bars are part of the problem of massive infections.

Texas went further and ordered the closure of all bars where the profits come from more than 51% of alcohol sales (. / Nuri Vallbona) (Nuri Vallbona /)

Florida measure replicates a rule imposed in Texas weeks ago. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been under a lot of pressure in the past few hours to impose new rules that do not lead to a new shutdown of the economy. In fact, on Friday it was learned that Texas had made progress in completely closing bars in the state that obtained more than 51% of their profits from the sale of alcohol.

The ban on the sale of alcohol in bars does not affect the state’s most densely populated county, Miami-Dade, as it has not yet reached phase 3 of reopening here and the bars remain closed. That does not imply that contagions are controlled in this region, today of the almost 9,000 new cases in all of Florida, 1,528 belong to Miami-Dade.

The other great debate in the state involves the mandatory use of masks. On the official website of the administration of DeSantis we recommend the use of face masks, but there is no order indicating the mandatory use. In the city of Miami yesterday the imposition of fines was approved for those who do not use masks in public spaces (including sidewalks). Anyone who walks through Miami without covering their nose and mouth will receive a warning the first time a police officer encounters it. On a second occasion, you will have to pay $ 50, on a third occasion the fine amounts to $ 150 and so on until you reach $ 500.

Both state and municipal authorities insist that despite the worrisome nature of the infections, the state is not in crisis because hospitals still have the capacity to serve more patients and the death rate from the virus is much lower here than it was in other centers of the pandemic.

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