ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County officials made good on their promise to send strike teams out on Super Bowl Sunday to make sure local businesses were following coronavirus guidelines during the big game.
The results were promising. All eight of the businesses strike teams visited were found to be requiring social distancing and obeying the county’s mask mandate.
“It was Super Bowl weekend and we asked members of the public to accept some tough advice that we have given them about not congregating in large crowds, and they did, so I want to thank our community for that because our strike teams went out and they went to, I believe it was eight different locations, and all of those locations were found to be compliant,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday.
The teams focused on bars and restaurants, visiting Smokey Bones on Colonial Drive, Miller’s Ale House on Colonial Drive and Kirkman Road, Ker’s Winghouse on Kirkman Road, Bloodhound Brew on Conroy Road, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on Conroy Road, Duffy’s Sports Grill on Conroy Road and TGI Friday’s on Millennia Boulevard.
All but the Miller’s on Kirkman Road had been visited at least once before.
The overall compliance rate for the 6,677 businesses that have been visited since the strike teams first began patrolling in mid-July is at 99% and most businesses -- 88% -- are found to be in compliance during the fist visit.
County officials said 1,308 businesses have been inspected twice with a 87% compliance rate and 279 businesses have been visited three times with a 82% compliance rate.
The most any establishment has been visited is eight times.
Since Demings announced in early December that he would authorize strike teams to fine repeat offenders, 131 businesses have received either a warning or a citation of no more than $500.
Demings said bars and nightclubs have been particularly problematic.
“These are places where the density is high, where, you know, because of the crowd that’s there, these are primarily young adults, and they take risks. They are healthy individuals, they may take risks that others who may be 65 or older, or who are in vulnerable populations, they won’t take the risk,” the mayor said earlier this month.
Gas stations, restaurants and retail establishments like the Florida Mall are among those that have been fined as well.