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Downtown St. Pete bars close after employees test positive for COVID-19

The three bars are all located within a few blocks of each other.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The same day Florida broke its record for a single-day spike of new cases of coronavirus, three downtown St. Petersburg bars closed back down after employees tested positive for COVID-19. 

On Friday, June 12, The Galley, Park & Rec DTSP and the Avenue Eat + Drink let customers know via Facebook the bars were shutting down temporarily after at least one employee tested positive.

The Galley's owner, Pete Boland said the bar was closing "out of an abundance of caution," after a few of the bar's employees testing positive for COVID-19. 

"We will re-open when we are able to test all of our employees, not just those whom have experienced symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus," Boland said. "We believe we are doing the right thing in the interest of public health at this time, and will use this extra time to further deep clean and professionally sanitize our space."

Similarly, in a statement from owner Stephen Schrutt, both Park & Rec DTSP and the Avenue Eat + Drink said it will be temporarily closed and all employees would be tested for COVID-10.

The three bars are all within a few blocks of each other. The Galley is located at 27 4th Street N, Park & Rec DTSP at 100 4th Street S, and the Avenue Eat + Drink at 330 1st Ave. S. 

Mayor Rick Kriseman applauded the three bars for the safety measures each is taking. 

"All restaurants, bars in St. Pete that have had an employee test positive should follow the lead of these places. Shut down, allow for contact tracing, test all employees, and reopen when safe. Residents must also do what is necessary to keep St. Pete safe," the mayor wrote in a Tweet Saturday morning.

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