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St. Louis Co. warns landlords are on the hook for social gatherings during COVID-19 pandemic

DULUTH, MN -- St. Louis County is warning landlords they could face punishment if a property fails to follow safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter, Amy Westbrook, the county's Public Health Division Director states COVID-19 is spreading in the Duluth area at an "alarming rate".

In September alone, St. Louis County saw nearly 900 new cases, almost half of the county's total number of cases.

Those cases have been linked to social gatherings involving college students in off-campus housing, Westbrook said in the letter.

The letter asks landlords to remind tenants to follow current safety protocols, in particular if they are hosting a social gathering.

The county or Duluth could punish landlords if more than 10 people are gathered inside or more than 25 people outdoors, if properties don't follow the governor's mask orders, or if a property is identified as a threat to the public health as a cause of sickness.

If a matter ends up in court, the landlord could face a fine.

Westbrook also says the county has emailed UMD students reminding them of public health recommendation and potential enforcement.

Kevin Jacobsen

News Director

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