State health officials say 4 Minnesota bars linked to recent COVID-19 outbreaks – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State health authorities say there are four Minnesota bars linked to recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Minnesota Department of Health said The 507 and Rounders Sports Bar & Grill in Mankato are linked to approximately 100 cases of the virus June 12-13. MDH also says that Cowboy Jack’s and The Kollege Klub in Minneapolis are linked to around 30 cases.

WCCO approached the four bars. The 507’s general manager responded and accepted an interview.

Isaiah Pitchford says 507’s top priority is keeping guests and customers safe.

Pitchford said a gorilla tested positive for the virus, and the restaurant decided to temporarily close on its own. They did a deep cleanup and asked employees to get tested.

“You feel a sense of responsibility to the community, so we took the initiative to close,” said 507 GM Pitchford.

Right now, gorillas help make sure no one violates the bar’s policies by bringing tables together or having more than six people at a table.

Pitchford says that with the reopening they will temporarily shut down the meals indoors and do an additional weekly disinfectant spray in addition to regular cleaning. While employees have had temperature controls before, it will now be required for customers.

As of Saturday, no one has yet been rejected. He also said he sees that most customers are complying with The 507’s policies, adding that there are a handful of people who will not.

“It will be impossible to prevent someone from saying ‘hello’ to someone they know,” he said. “It is impossible to catch her before it happens.”

Health officials have been urging younger people to continue practicing social distancing and to wear a mask whenever possible when outside, including in bars and restaurants. For the first time this week, people in their 20s account for the majority of cases in Minnesota.

“We are doing everything we can,” said Pitchford.

Restaurants operate at 50% capacity and no more than 250 people inside or outside.