16 friends celebrated a birthday at a Florida bar. They tested positive for coronavirus.

Michelle Marchante

Sixteen people walked into a Florida bar. And they think they walked out with coronavirus.

It’s no joke.

The group of friends tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after celebrating a birthday at a crowded bar in Jacksonville Beach this month, according to news reports. At least seven bar employees have also reportedly tested positive for the disease.

“Welp, Florida opened back up and my butt should’ve stayed home this past weekend cause I just tested positive for the damn COVID. #IKnowBetter #MyFault #WearYourMasksPeople,” Erika Crisp wrote on Facebook earlier this month.

She later posted: “I already feel like I’ve been hit by a bus.”

The outing happened a day after Florida bars, except in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, were allowed to reopen at half capacity.

“Murphy’s Law, I guess,” Crisp told News4Jax. “The only thing we have in common is that one night at that one bar.”

The 40-year-old healthcare worker from Jacksonville told the news station that she and her friends went to Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach on June 6 to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was the first time the group had gone out in months.

Erika Crisp of Jacksonville says she and her friends tested positive for COVID-19 shorty after visiting a bar at Jacksonville Beach the first weekend that most bars were allowed to reopen at limited capacity in Florida.
Erika Crisp of Jacksonville says she and her friends tested positive for COVID-19 shorty after visiting a bar at Jacksonville Beach the first weekend that most bars were allowed to reopen at limited capacity in Florida.

Three members of the group told CNN the bar was crowded and no one was wearing masks. A few days later, some of them began feeling ill and tested positive for the disease. So they all went to get tested.

“Receiving the text messages that my friends were just boom, positive, boom, positive, boom, positive, back to back to back, it was overwhelming,” Dara Sweat told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday.

The entire group eventually tested positive for the disease though some appeared to be asymptomatic. The group thinks they got sick at the bar and have been contacted by strangers who say they fell ill after visiting the same bar that weekend, Crisp wrote on Facebook.

Crisp, who has been documenting her life with COVID-19 on Facebook, says the disease has not affected her as much as the Swine Flu did in 2009 — and that while she regrets not being more careful during her outing, she still loves the bar.

The bar’s general manager Keith Doherty told local news stations that the bar voluntarily shut down for a deep cleaning when it was notified that a customer had tested positive for the disease, and tested all of its 49 employees.

Crisp, who has been a customer at Lynch for 20 years, says she is glad the bar “stepped up and did the right thing” to sanitize, and test its employees.

So far, seven employees have come back positive and 31 were negative. The seven employees who tested positive for the disease all worked at the bar on June 6, the same day that Crisp and her friends visited, First Coast News reported. Doherty told the news station he thinks a customer brought the disease into the bar.

The bar reopened on Tuesday, Fox 35 Orlando reported.

As for Crisp, she’s just waiting “for this nightmare to be over” so she can hold her kids again.