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Northland bars add extra safety measures to avoid COVID-19 outbreak

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DULUTH, MN. -- To try and limit the possible COVID-19 exposure at Northland bars, one Northland bar is adding extra safety measures to ensure that they are not added to the list of those with COVID-19 outbreaks.

With bars down in the cities linked to the surge of cases in the state of Minnesota, bar owners in the Northland are worried it may make it's way up north.

"I think it would be naive to say we are not (worried). I think everybody is. Nobody knows what really to expect. We aren't sure how far off or how far past we are from the peak at this point, so I think everybody is a little bit unsure as to how this is going to happen," said Nicole Barclay, Manager of the Duluth Flame.

The Flame in Duluth is making sure no COVID outbreaks happen by adding extra safety measures.

"We are a community bar, everyone knows we are a gay bar but we are a community bar and our customers mean so much to us. Our staff means so much to us, so it's really a family here so we want to do everything we can to keep everyone safe," added Barclay.

The Flame is operating at a reduced capacity with fewer bar staff and more security monitoring guests, as well as eliminating dancing on the dance floor, ultimately to make sure all stay as safe as possible.

"We just want everyone to stay safe and we want everyone to have a good time and as long as it's safe for us to be open, we will be open," said Barclay.

According to an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio Republican Senator Ron Johnson says that if cases continue to rise in his state he will advocate for all bars to be shutdown.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has not made any announcements on the closures of bars.

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Ryan Compeau

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