MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Target says it will not require its downtown Minneapolis headquarters employees to return to the office for the rest of the year, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Target has about 8,500 workers at its headquarters offices, making it the largest downtown employer.

In an update sent to employees Friday, Target said it is still planning a gradual transition back to the office starting Sept. 20. But only common areas such as cafeterias will initially be open.

On Friday, Minnesota health officials reported six new deaths from COVID-19 and 1,012 new cases.

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