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Minnesota

Mankato bar owner frustrated

over state’s COVID-19 list

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The owner of a Minnesota bar that was among four establishments identified by state health officials for contributing to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases among young adults said Saturday he has instituted aggressive measures to keep customers safe.

Steve Wegman is the owner of the 507 in Mankato, south of the Twin Cities. He said he’s invested in masks, gloves and cleaning supplies and taken many other steps to minimize spread of the coronavirus to patrons and employees since Minnesota bars and restaurants reopened at limited capacity this month.

Wegman told the Star Tribune he was frustrated his bar was identified as a COVID-19 hot spot, particularly after his staff had followed guidelines issued by the state. Establishments like his were put in “a no-win situation” with the state Health Department, he said.

“It’s been extremely vague on how we’re supposed to proceed,” Wegman said. “I personally don’t know what more we can do other than close to stop the spread.”

Kris Ehresmann, state director of infectious disease, said the establishments were identified so that people who frequented them would know to get tested for COVID-19 if they develop symptoms.

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