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South Boston Bars Crowded Saturday Despite Calls For Social Distancing

BOSTON (CBS) – Despite calls to avoid large crowds, even an outright ban on gatherings of more than 250 people, it seemed like nothing was getting in between bar-goers and a good time in South Boston Saturday. Not even the Coronavirus.

"For us, it's not as much of a concern," said one South Boston bar-goer. "But yeah, some people out here might be underplaying it."

By "us," he means young, seemingly healthy people. Brigham and Women's Hospital's Dr. Asaf Bitton said this particular population has one of the biggest roles to play in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

"This virus knows no age bounds, and though it's a more serious health risk for older adults, it doesn't spare younger adults," Dr. Bitton said. "And younger adults and children have parts to play in the transmission of this virus."

Dr. Bitton said people should stay home as much as possible and take social distancing more seriously. "That's the practice of keeping at least 6 feet in between you and your neighbor," he said.

A crowd outside The Broadway bar in South Boston Saturday evening. (WBZ-TV)

But that wasn't the case in South Boston Saturday evening, where people stood in crowded lines just to get into a jam-packed bar.

"It's pretty loud, pretty shoulder-to-shoulder. If somebody had it in there, probably everyone would get it," said bar-goer Charlie Fay.

Dr. Bitton said that's essentially what happened in Italy – a country that saw the number of coronavirus cases skyrocket to more than 17,500, forcing a lock-down.

"We really need to limit our time in contact with other people to the bare necessity at this point," he said. "While we have time, 10-14 days behind Italy, we need to make the hard choices now not to end up in the same situation."

An employee at The Broadway said the bar shut down early Saturday. It is unclear why.

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