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These Popular Bars Have Been Tied to Coronavirus Outbreaks

Drink in these shocking outbreak statistics before you hit happy hour.

Social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic obviously put a damper on happy hour. So, it isn't surprising that as soon as bars started reopening in certain parts of the country, the barflies buzzed back. Problem is, they might be in for quite a hangover. Here are bars around the country that have seen coronavirus break out. 


10 in Boise, Idaho

Small park in Boise Idaho and skyline at night

Bar-hopping is a popular pastime, so it shouldn't be a surprise that if one bar in a town or city experiences a coronavirus outbreak, several others will likely follow. For example, take the situation currently going down in Boise, Idaho. Ten to 34 cases of coronavirus—and growing—have been linked to a cluster of 10 bars in the city, many of them in the downtown region of the city. Dave Jeppesen, the Director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in Idaho recently revealed that the state is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, primarily with people in their 20s and 30s. 


One in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville skyline sunset river reflection in Florida USA

The state of Florida started opening up much earlier than most other states, and are recently getting hit with a spike in coronavirus cases as a result. The manager of Lynch's Irish Pub, Keith Doherty, told NBC affiliate WTLV of Jacksonville this week that seven employees have tested positive for the virus as part of an outbreak he dates to June 6, when a night of dining and drinking for patrons resulted in a spread of the virus. Other bars in the area have closed as a result of the outbreak, but as of yet, no other case confirmations. 


One in Houston, Texas

Historic City Clock at the Intersection of Main Street and Texas Street at Night Houston, Texas, USA

Contact tracing isn't too difficult when it involves regulars at a bar. A Houston area bar, McIntyre's, experienced a major outbreak after several regular customers and employees tested positive for coronavirus. After the bar was notified of the customers testing positive, they addressed the matter internally, forcing employees to get tested. Ultimately, several tested positive. For whatever reason, they neglected to make a public statement about it at the time. "While we did answer direct inquiries from our customers regarding this matter, in hindsight we understand it would've been better to make a public statement about our employees' positive tests. Going forward, we will do just that," they said in a statement. 


Three in St. Petersburg, Florida

The scenic road where ocean meets city view to Downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Three bars in downtown St. Pete—The Galley, Park & Rec DTSP, and Avenue Eat + Drink—all located within a few blocks from each other—closed after employees tested positive for coronavirus. The Tampa and St. Pete are experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases. 


Three in Austin, Texas

Austin Texas mural

Three separate bars in Austin—Black Sheep Lodge, Jackalope, and Tipsy Alchemist—briefly shut their doors after staff members tested positive for the virus. Texas, who reopened earlier than most of the country, is one of the three states who have recently set records for new COVID-19 cases


How You Can Stay Healthy

Elderly woman with protective face mask/gloves talking with a friend

Early on in the pandemic, the WHO warned that drinking alcohol won't help kill coronavirus, but can actually damage the immune system, weakening your body's ability to fight the virus. Additionally, it can impair your judgment, making you less likely to follow the recommended prevention methods—such as staying six feet apart from others, wearing a mask, and practicing hand hygiene. Also, keep in mind that it is virtually impossible to social distance in a bar. Remember this before going out. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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