Liquor stores see spike in sales over COVID-19

Liquor sales in the United States are rising as people are turning to alcohol to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Liquor sales in the United States are rising as people are turning to alcohol to help them cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

While most businesses have been forced to close, liquor stores are staying open during Florida’s stay at home order.

Under Gov. Ron DeSantis’s order, liquor stores are listed as essential businesses.

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Local, state and federal guidelines all state that these businesses fall into that category because they sell other goods like water, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Don Weiss said he's in favor of them staying open.

“I’m glad that I can get this. I don’t need it. I can drink ice tea, but liquor stores, it’s a business. It helps the economy. You shut that down your restaurants are all closed except take out, so you have to balance the health needs, the health requirements as well as keeping businesses alive,” Weiss said.

New research out by Nielsen shows that Americans are boosting their spirits by drinking more spirits.

Alcohol sales in the U.S. increased by 55% during the third week of March.

Diane McQueen is the program director of the Greenfield Center, which deals with addiction and alcohol.

Her center has been getting more calls than usual from people who need help.

McQueen said isolation is a big problem for people struggling with addiction.

“So with this increase in alcohol sales, which to me is very terrifying, please, please reach out. Don’t stay alone. There’s lots of avenues to travel, there’s lots of meetings on Zoom. There’s lots of ways we can connect people or help them,” she said.

She said one of the major signs for recognizing addition is if you notice a person’s sudden change in behavior.