Bars behaving after COVID-19 strike teams found violations

Nearly a dozen bars in Orange County were criticized for not following coronavirus safety guidelines. Now that the weekend is here, they may be under the microscope again.

On this first Friday after the strike team found COVID-19 violations at 11 bars and nightclubs in Orange County, there seems to be more precautions.

"It’s actually very surprising to see everyone wearing masks," said Luis Duran, who's visiting Orlando from West Palm Beach.

"They’re still abiding by COVID guidelines. They got hand sanitizer. I saw people wearing masks," said Anthony Morgione, who lives in Orlando.

This comes after the Orange County Strike Team found eight of 11 bars last weekend were not in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. 

The other three were undetermined. 

The report cited the businesses for not enforcing social distancing, or requiring masks and lacking floor markings and safety signs.

Friday night, outside Saddle Up and The Treehouse, there was signage about masks as well as thermometers for temperature checks and hand sanitizers.

Some who were out at other bars say social distancing is proving difficult. 

"It was just a lot of people up there and we just don’t feel comfortable being around a lot of people, especially with everything going on," said Jennifer Miele, who lives in Orlando.

A spokesperson for Orange County told Fox 35 they can't say in advance when these 11 bars will be revisited "in order to get a true assessment of the practices the business has in place," but they will be revisited at some point. 

They said the strike team's purpose is to educate the businesses and distribute hand sanitizer and masks.

"You got to abide by some of the guidelines, but you still got to make a buck," Morgione said.

One bar owner told FOX 35 they were cooperating with the county and didn't want to speak on camera because they want to make sure their relationship continues to move in the right direction. 

The county says its COVID-19 strike team will be out this weekend, but they couldn't say when or where.