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Health officials urge millennials to avoid large crowds amid COVID-19 concerns

Staying away from crowds isn’t necessarily to protect young people, the U.S. Surgeon General said. It’s to protect your nana.

DALLAS — For fun-loving millennials, a global pandemic didn’t slow down the early St. Patrick’s Day Party.

Like countless other establishments across the country, Off the Cuff in Deep Ellum was a sea of green, full of people on Saturday.

“People need to stop panicking and overreacting,” said Carlita Rivas-Plata. 

Patrons were sharing tables, sharing drinks and sharing their advice on how to stay healthy amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Just take care of yourself,” Rivas-Plata said. “Wash your hands like constantly.”

Washing your hands is only part of the solution.  

In a Saturday press conference, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said keeping your distance is as important as keeping clean. 

He had a pointed message to young people across the country.

“Social distancing and mitigation, they’re not to protect the 30-year-old or 20-year-old from getting coronavirus,” Adams said. “They’re to protect your nana. They’re to protect your granddaddy. They’re to protect the people you love in your life and we need your help.” 

Health officials say most people who test positive for COVID-19 recover. The danger is when those people spread the virus to other patients who can’t fight it off as easily.

“We must lean into protecting the most vulnerable,” Adams said. “Those with chronic or severe medical conditions, especially seniors.”

To limit the spread, a number of cities and counties, including Dallas took steps like discouraging crowds of over 250 people.

RELATED: Here's what the orders by Dallas County and the City of Dallas mean

The managers at Off the Cuff are keeping that in mind. The maximum occupancy there is 193.

The venue still had a good-size crowd but some revelers, like Victoria Rogers, said the rest of Deep Ellum seemed quieter than most weekends.

“The virus has kind of put a damper on business though,” Rogers said. “It’s been kind of slow.”

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