A downtown Rochester bar -- Dooley’s Pub -- closed its doors on the Fourth of July because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
Dooley’s owner Tory Runkle explained the closure Monday.
"I made the decision to close, because I heard a lot of other bars had spikes. I did not want to be part of problem, that’s why I decided to close down," he said standing in front of his bar. "We did have two confirmed cases (among his employees) at the time I decided to close."
He stressed that his team at Dooley's followed all of the state's health protocols. Runkle did not have any planned date for re-opening, though he did say he will be listening to Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday to track to state guidelines.
The holiday weekend would typically have been a busy time for Dooley’s, a traditional Irish-themed sports bar. It is located at 255 1st Ave SW, inside the city-owned Minnesota Biobusiness Center.
On Saturday, a statement was posted on the bar's Facebook page.
“Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases throughout our state and country, Dooley’s has decided to close temporarily for the safety of our staff, their families and our guests,” according to the posting.
Olmsted County Public Health also released a statement about the situation.
"Olmsted County Public Health connects with all Olmsted County individuals who have been COVID-19 positive to begin a case investigation. In this instance, it was discovered within the case investigation that the individual was an employee of Dooley’s Pub," according to the message. "Olmsted County Public Health has been working closely with the Dooley’s management to identify additional staff that may have been exposed and in close contact with this employee. Those individuals have all been contacted through OCPHS and provided information about the situation as well as guidance on monitoring for symptoms while limiting risk for further transmission."
The health department statement also adds that the decision to close was made by Dooley's owner and was not mandated by the county.