Coronavirus News: Overcrowding at popular Jersey Shore bar causing health concerns

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
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Large crowds at a popular Jersey Shore bar are prompting health and safety concerns as the summer weather heats up.

BELMAR, New Jersey (WABC) -- Large crowds at a popular Jersey Shore bar are prompting health and safety concerns as the summer weather heats up.

Videos of large crowds, tightly packed, without masks and no social distancing at D'jais Oceanview Bar in Belmar have caught the attention of state officials, who warn that gatherings like this could lead to business shut downs, especially if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The mayor of Belmar, Mark Walsifer, says they will be watching.

"I saw the videos, so we've been working with management ever since Sunday, that we have to -- together control what's going on," Walsifer said.

A viral video from D'jais over the past weekend has been seen by the governor and the state police superintendent.

"To see the D'Jais, and the boardwalks and those large crowds that aren't really social distancing and no facial coverings gives us a tremendous cause for concern," State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says bars with big crowds must tighten up or face the consequences.

"If we see businesses refuse to comply with the common sense and life-saving guidance that we have put in place, we will have no choice but to begin making examples out of them," Murphy said.

This becomes more of a concern as coronavirus cases involving young people 18 to 29 have increased in the state.

"In April, this age group represented 12 percent of the cases, that has risen to 22 percent of the cases in June," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.

There will be more cops on patrol this coming weekend in Belmar, making sure compliance with social distancing is being followed as everyone expects more big crowds with the hot weekend weather ahead.


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