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Jacksonville Beach bar closes after several test positive for COVID-19

First Coast News has been told Lynch's Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach is closed for cleaning.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Several people are coming forward saying they've tested positive for COVID-19 after going to Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach Saturday, June 6.

This was the weekend bars reopened in Florida.

First Coast News has been told the pub has been closed for cleaning.

UPDATE: More Jacksonville Beach bars close after having customers who reported positive COVID-19 tests

One of the customers, Kat Layton, said she and a group of about 15 friends went out to the pub that night to celebrate one of their birthdays. A few days later, she said 12 out of 15 of them tested positive for COVID-19. She said she now thinks the state is reopening too soon. 

"We’re not ready. It's not ready. I do regret going out that night," Layton said.

Several others have posted on social media saying they were at the pub too and tested positive. 

“I noticed this is a lot of people a lot of people in close proximity, which I was excited about I can’t lie," she said. "I was one of those people that … I’m the walking person that was like 'ah come on it’s not that serious' and I got it.”

Layton said they're friends with employees, told them they tested positive and the employees helped close the pub for cleaning. She said she wanted to speak out to let others know the virus is still a threat.

“I have to do my part in letting people know that it’s not about us," she said. "It’s not about how you feel always because you could be contracting the disease and giving it out without showing any symptoms."

The employees, she said, are also now being tested.

Dr. David Rice of Baptist Health warned those who have underlying health conditions and the elderly need to take extreme precautions. He said everyone, though, needs to take precautions  if you're going out in public, and urges everyone to follow the CDC's recommendations.

"Social distancing, masking in public is still being recommended and that’s what we should be following. So these types of recommendations will help us prevent the spread of COVID[-19] further,” Rice said.

Layton has a message about moving back to life as normal.

"Trust me when I say that I miss it too, but if we’re not paying attention to what is actually going on and we’re just kind of opening things up, then we’re going to contract it and we’re going to kill people in our own community," she said.

First Coast News called the general manager for comment, but we haven't heard back. First Coast News hasn't been able to confirm Layton and her friends' cases with the health department. We also called other bars at the beach and staff at the ones we were able to get a hold of said they remain open. 

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