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

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

WCCO reached out to all four bars. The general manager at The 507 responded and agreed to an interview.

Isaiah Pitchford says The 507’s main priority is to keep guests and customers safe.

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

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

Right now, bouncers help to make sure no one is violating the bar’s policies by moving tables closer together or having more than six people at a table.

Pitchford says with reopening they will be temporarily closing off indoor dining and do an additional weekly sanitizer spray on top of regular cleaning. While employees already got temperature checks before, it will now be required for customers.

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

“It’s going to be impossible to stop someone from saying ‘hi’ to someone they know,” he said. “It’s impossible to catch it before it happens.”

Health officials have been urging younger people to still practice social distancing and wear a mask when possible when out, including at bars and restaurants. For the first time this week, people in their 20s make up the largest portion of cases in Minnesota.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Pitchford said.

Restaurants are operating at 50% capacity and no more than 250 people inside or out.

Kate Raddatz

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