Florida lawmakers call for stricter enforcement after surge in COVID-19 cases
ORLANDO, Fla. - Seminole County health officials say COVID-19 cases are on the rise, specifically near the University of Central Florida (UCF) area.
Officials said that cases have been increasing consistently for the last five days. The majority of those testing positive are in the 18 to 30 age range.
They said many of the cases have been traced back to bars and entertainment. Alan Harris, the Seminole County Emergency Management Director explained, stating that "the sick individuals have all stated they've been around a pub, a bar, or an event during the holiday weekend."
Florida State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith believes a couple of factors are contributing to the recent spike in cases. One of those is the lack of some people's personal responsibility.
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"People need to be wearing masks and people need to be acting responsibly," he said. "Frankly right now, it doesn't appear that they are."
Smith also thinks some bars and clubs are not following capacity regulations. He told FOX 35 Orlando that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is not doing enough to enforce state mandates.
"Some of these guidelines don't mean anything if they're not being enforced by the state. So the state needs to step up and take this seriously," said Smith.
FOX 35 Orlando reached out to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for comment and they said:
"DBPR remains focused on public health and safety in food service environments. Resources and guidance related to COVID-19, including mandatory measures, best practices for food services and FAQs is maintained on our website at: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/emergency.
The Department’s Division of Hotels and Restaurant inspectors are incorporating informational comments on all on-site inspection reports issued to public food service license holders to promote situational awareness of the current public health emergency and is directing parties to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) COVID-19 webpage for guidance and resources. Copies of informational flyers from the FDOH COVID-19 toolkit are also available for inspectors to distribute when interacting with managers of food service establishments.
DBPR’s cooperative approach to guiding restaurant owners and managers on these operational matters has helped establish a priority focus on achieving and maintaining compliance that, to date, has not necessitated additional administrative actions."
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