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Home / Health / Mankato bar owner defends efforts to avoid the spread of COVID-19

Mankato bar owner defends efforts to avoid the spread of COVID-19



The owner of the Mankato Bar was identified by state health officials as the cause of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases among young people, defending his office. He said he has taken active measures to prevent customers from getting the virus.

Steve Wegman, owner of No. 507, said that since the limited opening of bars and restaurants in Minnesota this month, he has invested in the purchase of masks, gloves and cleaning supplies, and has taken many other measures to Protect the health and safety of customers and employees.

The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that 507 is one of four bars in Minnesota, two of them in Mankato and two in Minneapolis. Recently, there has been a group of young people with coronavirus infections. The other two are the Rowers Sports Bar & Grill and Cowboy Jack̵

7;s and Kollege Klub in Mankato, Minneapolis.

Midnight Group, which owns the Cowboy Jack Downtown, said on Saturday that it will close the bar and Cowboy Slim in Upper Town indefinitely due to the “violence, destruction and civil strife” in its surrounding communities. It does not mention any COVID-19 health issues.

Wegman said on Saturday that he was frustrated that his bar was identified as a COVID-19 hot spot, especially after his employees followed the guidelines issued by the state. He added that he feels that institutions like him are in a “win-win” position with the state health bureau.

Wegman said: “How we should proceed has been very vague.” “I personally don’t know what else we can do other than ending the spread.”

Kris Ehresmann, director of communicable diseases at the Ministry of Health, said that the state has identified these locations so that people who frequently enter and exit bars can be tested for COVID-19 when they experience symptoms.

She said that public health officials also contacted the bar to share information on best practices.

The Ministry of Health said that between June 14 and June 21, more than 30 cases have been found among those who traveled to Minneapolis’ Cowboy Jack and Dinkington’s Kollege Klub.

About 100 people who visited 507 and/or Rowers Sports Bar & Grill on the weekend of June 12-14 were infected. Ehresmann said on Saturday that there were 39 of the 507 cases, and 32 of them also went to Rounders.

She said in an email: “Thirty-nine people who confirmed the case are related to the case and have reason to be notified.” “They have a case that works when they are infected and have symptoms.”

The Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that another 6 people died from COVID-19, bringing the epidemic’s death toll to 1,417 across the state. Residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities account for a quarter of newly declared deaths.

After reaching its peak in late May, the daily statistics of inpatients in Minnesota showed a downward trend. The latest data continued to be reported on Saturday, showing that the number of inpatients fell from 335 on Friday to 300. The figure also shows that 155 patients require intensive care, compared with 157 a day ago.

Last Saturday, the state’s net increase of newly diagnosed cases was 417, and 11,521 tests were completed. Although the state has expanded its detection capabilities, this number continues the recent trend of fewer new cases. Now, more than 35,000 cases have been diagnosed across the state.

The general manager of the bar, Isaiah Pitchford, said that in order to prevent proliferation, the 507, in addition to regularly cleaning tables and chairs, also regularly heats employees and customers. Pitchford said it only operates in the terrace bar, where most people sit at the dining table, so staff can ensure that people stay away.

When the bar learned that an employee’s test was positive, Pitchford said he decided to close the business for a few days for cleaning and to ensure that other workers were tested. He said: “We know the severity of the COVID-19 virus and we want to ensure the safety of everyone.”

Pat Bernick stayed at Kollege Klub with his roommates on Saturday afternoon. He said they “feel bad” and the bar received some negative publicity. Will Engstrom, one of the roommates, said the hard work of the bar staff “kept us away [and] Observe the restrictions. “

Another customer, Rex Riley, said Kollege Klub “has always done a good job”, including limiting the number of customers allowed on the terrace at one time. “They make sure that the number keeps falling and everyone stays smart.”

Staff writer Dan Browning contributed to this report.

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