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Dooley's closed following reports of health hazards

Pub given 72 hours to address concerns before it can reopen.

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Dooley's Pub Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in downtown Rochester. Olmsted County closed the pub due to public safety hazards because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Olmsted County has closed Dooley’s Pub for the weekend.

The county’s environmental health team suspended the business’ food-and-beverage license on Friday.

“Our environmental staff have reached out to Dooley’s management to help them come into compliance and maintain compliance with no success,” said Graham Briggs, director of the county’s Public Health Department. “We owe it to our residents and businesses who are complying with the governor’s executive order, to not allow willful violators to disregard or endanger the health of their employees, neighbors, and community members.”

Public health staff worked with Dooley’s Pub management surrounding a July COVID-19 outbreak at the bar and restaurant, and owner Tory Runkle closed due to related concerns.

"I made the decision to close, because I heard a lot of other bars had spikes. I did not want to be part of the problem, that’s why I decided to close down," Runkle said at the time. "We did have two confirmed cases (among his employees) at the time I decided to close."

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A sign explaining the closure of Dooley's Pub on the front door Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in downtown Rochester. Olmsted County closed the pub due to public safety hazards because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

Surrounding the July closure, at least 25 cases so far have been tied to bars downtown Rochester bars.

Dooleys saw another COVID-related closing in August due an outbreak among its staff and access issues caused by downtown construction. It reopened in early September.

On Friday, the county didn’t point to any confirmed cases related to activity at Dooley’s, but reported recent health and safety hazards have been documented there.

The county said recent observations place Dooley’s employees and patrons at increased risk to COVID-19 exposure, including a lack of physical distancing by staff and customers, a lack of mask wearing by staff and customers, and failure to restrict the number of building occupants to 50 percent or less of the normal occupancy requirement, according to a statement release by Olmsted County Public Health.

Rochester City Council member Michael Wojcik posted this video to YouTube:

As a result, the business is required to close for at least 72 hours, with a notice posted on its front door, and it must remain closed until management can demonstrate compliance and enforcement of its COVID-19 preparedness plan.

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A call to the business late Friday morning was not answered, and a message left for comment was not immediately returned.

Dooley’s management has reportedly received specific information about practices that need to change in order to comply with state guidelines. After the initial 72-hour period, Dooley’s will be allowed to reopen if needed changes are made.

“It is imperative that all Olmsted County businesses follow state guidelines for the health and safety of residents, visitors, patrons and staff,” the public health announcement stated.

The Olmsted County Public Health reported Friday 104 documented active cases of COVID19 exist in the county. It also reported the county’s 27th death related to the pandemic.

As of Friday, the county reported 2,122 residents have had confirmed COVID-19 and no longer need to be isolated.

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Dooley's Pub Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in downtown Rochester. Olmsted County closed the pub due to public safety hazards because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

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