State health and safety officials recently wrapped up compliance checks of bars and restaurants in south central Minnesota, including Waseca.

Compliance teams from the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Health, Labor and Industry and Agriculture visited more than 150 establishments during the past two weekends, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The teams conducted checks in Waseca, Mankato, St. Peter, Faribault and New Ulm on Aug. 28-29 and establishments in Carver and Scott counties Sept. 4-5.

The teams found 79 bars and restaurants not in compliance and those had one or more minor violations. A total of 31 of those establishments will have follow-up inspections with the MDH and DLI after they did not have customers and/or staff wearing masks when required, failed to maintain social distancing and didn’t have adequate COVID-19 preparedness plans.

“We applaud the efforts of the many establishments and customers doing the right things and protecting workers and the public,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a press release. “We know the past six months have been tough for Minnesota’s bars and restaurants and we also know that if proper precautions are not followed in these settings, the result can be accelerated spread of COVID-19 in the community. These enforcement efforts are aimed at ensuring that the minority of businesses that are not following the guidelines bring their establishments into compliance.”

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