COVID-19: Potbelly Sandwich Shops in Rochester close to in-person dining

They'll still be open for walk-in/carry-out and delivery.
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Potbelly Sandwich Shops in Rochester are closing to in-person customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A Facebook post on Sunday from one of the stores says Potbelly Sandwich Shops in Rochester will "once again be suspending in-shop, seated dining." They will, however, remain open for walk-in/carry-out and delivery orders. 

"This decision is made with the safety of our employees, customers, and community as our top priority," the Facebook post states. "We are deeply grateful for your business."

According to Potbelly's website, there are two shops in Rochester. One at 3801 Marketplace Drive and another at 318 1st Ave. SW.

Over the past several months, dozens of restaurants, breweries and other businesses across the state have made the decision to temporarily close or alter business operations due to employees testing positive for COVID-19. In most incidents, businesses said they're doing so out of an abundance of caution while other employees get tested and so they can do an extra deep clean of their business. 

The Potbelly shops did not give further details on its decision to close to in-person dining or whether it was due to any employees getting the novel coronavirus (Bring Me The News has reached out for more information), but it comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are surging across Minnesota.  

On Sunday, the state of Minnesota reported nearly 6,000 new cases of COVID-19, breaking the state's record for single-day case numbers – a record that has been broken several times in the past week. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 180,862 lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota and 2,656 deaths.

Last week, state health officials called Minnesota's COVID-19 situation dire, noting too few are taking the proper precautions to stop the spread of the virus. The state has said it's hoping to avoid another lockdown, but they need people to follow public health guidance, such as washing your hands, wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding large groups.

"If Minnesotans were following the guidance that currently exists, we wouldn’t need further dialbacks, but just given the fact we’ve not seen those behavior changes, we just need to keep getting that message out," Kris Ehresmann, the state's director of infectious diseases, said Friday. 

Another thing people can do to help slow the spread of the virus is get tested if they think they could have been exposed. Here's the Minnesota Department of Health's testing website, which has information on where you can get tested for free. Meanwhile, the state plans to announce a "significant expansion" of testing Monday morning.

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