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Minneapolis indoor bar service closing Saturday amid coronavirus spread

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has announced indoor bar areas will be closed beginning Aug. 1

Bar service has been ordered to close beginning Aug. 1 in Minneapolis.

Mayor Jacob Frey announced the change Wednesday afternoon. Beginning 5 p.m. Saturday, indoor bar service must be closed in Minneapolis, including restaurants with bars and similar businesses such as taprooms and distilleries. 

He said that bars may still operate following coronavirus guidelines by using table service rather than taking orders at a bar. 

"We know normal bar culture. We have 20-25 people packed ... waiting for one person to provide them service," Frey said. 

"This will work just like it would normally work when you're at a restaurant, seated at your table," he continued. "You cannot be seated at a bar, you cannot walk up to the bar. However, a bartender certainly can provide table service." 

The emergency order will be in effect until Frey allows it to expire.

In three sweeps of the city's bars, authorities regularly found tables not spaced far enough apart, congregations near bars, people dancing and other kinds of unsafe behavior for the pandemic. Nine Minneapolis bars are known to have met the state's definition of "patron outbreak," meaning that seven patrons later tested positive, according to the city. At least three have had workplace outbreaks, with at least three employees testing positive. 

This is developing story. More details to follow. 

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