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COVID-19 outbreak linked to another bar, this one in St. Cloud

Health officials are investigating 47 cases linked to downtown bars.
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Health officials have identified another bar that has been linked with an outbreak of COVID-19, this time in St. Cloud.

The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed the outbreak, which involves 47 bar-goers in Stearns County. Of those, 36 said they had been infected after visiting The Pickled Loon, in downtown St. Cloud.

A further 11 said they had been drinking at The Pickled Loon, which has temporarily closed as a result, and other bars in the city.

The date ranges of the infections are from June 11 to June 25, and 21.5 being the median age of the cases – which is consistent with the growing number of people in their 20s becoming infected with COVID-19.

Bars were allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity beginning June 10, after coronavirus restrictions were loosened.

It's the fifth bar in Minnesota to be linked to an outbreak of COVID-19.

MDH says there have been 200 cases linked to Rounders Sports Bar and Bar 507 in Mankato, and a further 100 cases linked to Cowboy Jack's and The Kollege Klub in Minneapolis.

An MDH spokesman told BMTN that bars like The Pickled Loon and others in downtown St. Cloud have reported it being difficult to get customers "to respect social distancing requirements after the dinner hour and later in the evening."

This week, Gov. Tim Walz has said that bars and restaurants could face the return of restrictions if they are unable to follow guidelines to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

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