ST. CLOUD – A downtown St. Cloud restaurant and bar health officials have linked to a spate of COVID-19 cases is temporarily closed.

The Minnesota Department of Health has traced nearly 50 new cases of the virus to customers of the Pickled Loon, located on West St. Germain Street.

In an email to WJON, Health officials say a total of 47 COVID-19-positive people reported visiting the Pickled Loon in mid-June. 36 of those infected only mention patronizing the Pickled Loon, while 11 others report visiting the Pickled Loon along with a variety of local businesses. The Minnesota Department of Health did not share the names of those businesses.

“We are hearing from establishments like the Pickled Loon and other area bar and restaurant owners that it has been difficult to get patrons to respect social distancing requirements after the dinner hour and later in the evening past 10 p.m.,” said health officials.

The majority of infected patrons reported visited the Pickled Loon on June 20. Officials say many report visiting more than once; the estimated range of dates for those visits is June 11-25.

Officials say the median age of people who have tested positive related to the outbreak is 21, with an age range of 18 to 26.

The Pickled Loon remains voluntarily closed out of an abundance of caution. As of Tuesday evening, the establishment's Facebook page was deactivated.

Health officials say none of the Pickled Loon’s staff have tested positive for the virus.

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