Minnesota Reports its 1st COVID-Related Death of Child

Covid 19

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has recorded its first COVID-19-related death in a child, according to health department data released Monday, as Gov. Tim Walz ponders whether students should head back to school for learning in the fall.

Few details about the child were released Monday, but the Minnesota Department of Health said the child was between the ages of 0-5 in Clay County. Three other new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19-related deaths in Minnesota to 1,545,

An additional 922 cases were also reported, raising the state’s total cases to 47,107.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The news comes as state investigators announced that 14 bars and restaurants have received warning letters for violating Walz’s order allowing for the safe reopening of businesses during the pandemic.

In an effort to keep businesses operating safely and control the spread of the coronavirus, investigators with the Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division visited 919 restaurants and bars during a two-week sweep from July 4-13.

They were specifically looking for violations in three areas of emphasis: employee mask requirements, social distancing guidelines for customer tables, and keeping capacity at no more than 50%.

They say that during the sweep, 10 bars and restaurants were found to be in violation of all three areas of emphasis. An additional four establishments received warning letters before the two-week sweep.

Those businesses in violation could be ordered to pay fines or could lose their liquor license.

Investigators also worked to educate those establishments on the guidelines. Solutions to keep restaurants and bars in compliance include marking areas for better social distancing, educating employees about wearing masks, canceling bands, and unplugging pool tables and dart machines to maintain social distance.

Investigators also found that many customers were violating seating guidelines. Under Walz’s order, seating is limited to four people at one table, or six for immediate family members. Restaurants and bars reported that many customers moved seats or tables together so they could sit in larger groups.

“By educating establishments and the public, our hope is that it leads to better compliance,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said in a statement. “We can all do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our businesses open by wearing a mask, social distancing and adhering to establishment seating limits.”

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