Health Care Worker and 15 Friends Test Positive for Coronavirus After a Night Out at a Florida Bar

Many people in the United States have been staying home for months, and as more and more businesses reopen, it can be tempting to take advantage of restaurants and stores reopening. It can be tempting to meet up with friends in person instead of online. It can be tempting to pretend like the pandemic is over.

Here’s the thing. It’s not. Just because we can’t see the coronavirus doesn’t mean that it has gone away (unless, perhaps, if you live in New Zealand). 

Erika Crisp is a 40-year-old healthcare worker from Florida. She had been doing all the things she was supposed to do to avoid getting and spreading the coronavirus. She stayed home. She wore a mask and practiced social distancing whenever she went somewhere. 

Then, Florida started to reopen. It felt like things were getting back to normal. After months of being home, she and her friends wanted to celebrate with a night out.

On June 6, Crisp and 15 of her friends met up at a bar called Lynch’s Irish Pub. They weren’t wearing masks. They weren’t social distancing. In Crisp’s words, “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.”

Now, Crisp and every single one of her friends has tested positive for COVID-19. She says that the only thing they have in common is that they were at Lynch’s Irish Pub together. She has been sick for 8 days battling symptoms like shortness of breath.

After finding out about Crisp and her friends’ diagnosis, Lynch’s Irish Pub decided to close. All of the employees have been tested, and it turns out that 7 of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

Watch the video below to hear from Crisp and the owner of Lynch’s Irish Pub.

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

Does it surprise you that a girls’ night out would lead to everyone getting sick? Do you think it’s too soon for states to reopen? Does Crisp’s story make you rethink getting together with your friends in a public place like a bar?