JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of 16 friends have all tested positive for the novel coronavirus after visiting a Jacksonville Beach bar together earlier this month, CNN and WJXT report.
Three women from the group spoke to Chris Cuomo about their experience Tuesday and urged others not to go out yet, saying it’s too early.
“Of course, we feel regretful. We do feel foolish standing there in front of those people, we knew we were pushing it and it’s a little overwhelming to be ahead of this, but we just want to raise awareness,” Kat Layton told Cuomo. “We want to get ahead of this, tell people that it’s really not ready for what we thought it was ready for, it’s too soon.”
Seven workers at a Florida bar and a group of 16 friends who were out for a night of fun — all tested positive for coronavirus. One person says it was a “mistake” and another tells CNN’s @ChrisCuomo that “we want to raise awareness” about the virus. https://t.co/0UEzCz6H9Y pic.twitter.com/FoiI6aYjxX
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) June 17, 2020
The women said they went to the bar to celebrate a friend’s birthday on June 6. They added that the business was crowded, and nobody was wearing masks.
The women say they began feeling sick soon after the outing and then they started receiving texts from everyone in the group, saying they had tested positive. Luckily, no one in the group became seriously ill, but some did experience flu-like symptoms.
The women say they’ve also received messages from strangers who visited the same bar during that time period and tested positive, so they say they’re confident that’s where they contracted the virus.
WJXT reports that the bar opted to shut down over the weekend for a deep cleaning, but it was set to reopen Tuesday morning.