Patrons Urged to Quarantine After Roughly 85 Coronavirus Cases Linked to East Lansing Bar

Eldis Sula
June 28, 2020 - 10:58 am

    Health officials are urging people who visited a bar in East Lansing, Michigan to self-quarantine after an uptick in new COVID-19 cases linked to the establishment.

    Approximately 85 individuals who visited the bar — Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub — tested positive for coronavirus this month, Ingham County Health officer Linda S. Vail told CNN.

    The number is up from 34 cases that were reported on Wednesday. At the time, all of the people with cases linked to Harper’s were between the ages of 18 and 23, officials said, adding that one of the new cases confirmed Wednesday was a secondary case.

    In a statement, the Health Department urged patrons who visited the bar between June 12 and June 20 to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    “Given the number of cases in this outbreak, we consider this a higher risk exposure than a typical visit to a restaurant or bar,” said Vail. “There are likely more people infected with COVID-19 not yet identified.”

    Vail added: “We need help from people who went to Harper’s during the exposure dates so that we can contain the outbreak. We need everyone exposed to stay home.”

    The bar followed safety guidelines for employees, capacity guidelines and table spacing, according to the statement.

    Earlier in the week, 14 cases linked to Harper’s were initially reported.

    The bar itself closed down on June 22 to install air purifiers.

    Owners Pat and Trisha Riley released the following statement.

    “Our small family business takes its role and responsibility in our community very seriously – especially when it comes to the health and safety of our customers and team members. That’s why we have taken every measure to not only meet, but exceed, local, state and federal guidance for reopening during this COVID-19 health pandemic, which has been confirmed by the Ingham County Health Department. That’s also why we have closed temporarily, to implement added safety precautions.

    "We understand that people who tested positive for COVID-19 visited our establishment as well as several others in East Lansing. So before we are-open, we are investing in new air filtration technology as well as a virtual line management app that will help negate city sidewalk lines that we have no control or authority over. We are also making sure all of our employees are tested. As a family-owned and operated business, we will not waiver from our commitment to go above and beyond, diligently maintaining health standards and protocols to help keep our employees and guests safe.”