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Area restaurant closures pile up as COVID-19 cases rise

Area restaurant closures pile up as COVID-19 cases rise
Area restaurant closures pile up as COVID-19 cases rise

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – This week, more and more restaurants are closing down and sanitizing because of new COVID-19 cases.

Jacksonville Beach was one of the first places in the area that started seeing restaurants confirm COVID cases.

Despite recent COVID-19 cases in Jacksonville Beach at places like Lynch’s Irish Pub, which was still closed Friday, there were still several people out Friday night.

News4Jax has learned restaurants in Avondale and Fruit Cove are also reporting cases, but some say that isn’t stopping them from going out. Others say they’re staying home.

In Avondale, where Whits Ice Cream reported a COVID-19 positive employee, some say they’re not letting the virus stop them from living their life.

“Eventually we’re going to be exposed to it some way or another and now that we’re healthy right now, we’d rather face it right now,” Denise Charzan said.

A woman who wants to remain anonymous said she felt the same way until two of her friends tested positive for COVID-19 after a night out at Brickstone Pizza and Italian last week in Fruit Cove.

“None of us were social distancing. We were dancing and you’re only about a foot apart from someone when you’re dancing,” they said.

Brickstone Owner, Les Davis said the restaurant immediately shut down to sanitize after learning several customers tested positive for the virus.

“We’re taking steps to make sure it’s a safe environment, our staff is being tested,” Davis said.

Brickstone reopened its doors on Friday where tables are spread out by 6 feet, hand sanitizer is available and employees are checking customer’s temperature at the door.

“If they come in the door and they’ve got a 100-degree temperature we can stop them,” Davis said.

The customer we spoke with said she is still waiting for her test results, but she’s hoping more people will choose to stay home.

“It has changed my mindset about going out. It’s not safe to go out right now especially with the numbers that are growing in our area,” she said.

The owner of Brickstone said none of the employees tested positive.

News4Jax also learned that Nona Blue in Ponte Vedra Beach was calling customers on Friday to cancel Father’s Day reservations.

Pusser’s Bar & Grille, also in Ponte Vedra Beach, was also closed Friday after a part-time employee contracted COVID-19.

About the Author:

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.