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What happened at M Street Beach could hurt Boston’s effort to battle COVID-19, Walsh says

The scene at M Street Beach in South Boston on Saturday afternoon.
The scene at M Street Beach in South Boston on Saturday afternoon.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday urged Boston residents to continue taking precautions against COVID-19, telling reporters that scenes such as the weekend crush of patrons at M Street Beach could hamper the city’s effort to move forward with its gradual reopening amid the crisis.

“It’s incumbent on all of us to do what we have to do on a daily basis,” Walsh said during a briefing outside City Hall, adding that residents must continue safety measures such as wearing face coverings in public, practicing social distancing and frequently washing hands.

Walsh noted the images from this weekend of “thousands” of people at M Street Beach in South Boston who weren’t distancing.

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“That could set us back,” Walsh said.

Globe photos of the weekend revelry at the beach showed many patrons also weren’t wearing face coverings.

On Tuesday, the mayor said the city’s continued compliance with public health directives has “ramifications” for Boston’s gradual reopening of venues such as office buildings, schools, and restaurants.

Turning to the recent spike in gun violence that has plagued the city, Walsh said two teenagers were fatally shot Sunday in Mattapan, and a third teen was severely wounded in a separate shooting in Roxbury.

“Violence of any kind is certainly unacceptable in our communities,” Walsh said. “When young people are victims, it’s especially devastating.”

He said city officials, nonprofit partners, and others are “working around the clock to reach young people and adults who are at risk and offer them pathways to safety and opportunity.”

Walsh urged city residents who are concerned about young people in their lives to reach out to the city’s Neighborhood Trauma Team.

Walsh also announced that the BCYF Clougherty Pool in Charlestown and the BCYF Mirabella Pool in the North End will open Wednesday.

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Visitors to the pools, Walsh’s office said in a statement, must book a 90-minute slot at either of the pools online at Boston.gov/BCYF-Summer “as walk-ins will not be allowed. Due to current regulations, pool capacity has been reduced to less than 40 percent capacity, 75 people per session.”

Walsh said in the statement that it’s important for residents to keep cool amid the stifling heat.

“As we experience hotter days in the City of Boston, it’s important residents can access cooling options in our neighborhoods,” Walsh said. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to develop plans to reopen our community centers and pools in a way that is safe and prevents the further spread of COVID-19 in our city. I encourage residents to take advantage of these options and continue to take all the precautions: wearing face coverings when out, keeping your distance from others, and washing your hands.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.