UNDATED -- The state is going to step up enforcement of COVID-19 safety compliance. The Minnesota Departments of Health and Labor & Industry sent a letter to businesses stating the increased compliance checks at bars and restaurants will begin Friday.

Teams will visit multiple establishments each weekend. The additional enforcement is in response to concerns that have been raised by compliant establishments and customers about places where people are gathering without complying with requirements.

Investigators will specifically be looking for employees and customers violating mask requirements, adherence to social distancing, tables less than six feet apart, party size limits of four per table, signage, reservation protocols, and establishments serving to more than 50 percent capacity. Violations could lead to fines or loss of a liquor license.

Meanwhile, Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered that all bars be closed in six of the state's largest counties in response to surging numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases blamed in part on young people ignoring mask and social distancing recommendations in such establishments.

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