By Lee Moran
At least 107 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been linked to a bar in Michigan.
Some 95 people who visited Harper’s Restaurant & Brewpub in East Lansing June 12-20 have now tested positive for Covid-19, Ingham County Health Department announced Monday.
A further 12 people “who were in contact with a primary case but did not go to Harper’s themselves” have also been infected with the virus, per a statement released by the department.
The rising numbers from the outbreak prompted Ingham County to issue “an emergency order reducing restaurant capacity to 50% or no more than 75 people, whichever is less.”
Ingham County has issued an emergency order to reduce restaurant capacity as outbreak linked to local bar grows to 107. https://t.co/sWvUINaFAJ
— Ingham Health Dept. (@InghamHealth) June 29, 2020
The patrons who tested positive for the coronavirus were aged 16 to 28.
None were hospitalised. Most showed mild symptoms and 28 were asymptomatic. Forty percent were students at or recent graduates of Michigan State University.
Ingham Country Health officials urged people who attended the venue during the nine-day period to get tested for the coronavirus and self-quarantine for 14 days following the date of their last visit.
“There are likely more people infected with Covid-19 not yet identified,” Ingham County Health officer Linda Vail warned last week when the case count from the outbreak stood at 34.
The 950-capacity venue had reopened at 50% capacity on June 8 and was “following appropriate safety procedures related to employees, restaurant capacity and table spacing,” per the department’s inspectors.
Harper’s announced its temporary closure — in order to modify its air conditioning system and further improve social distancing measures — via a lengthy post on Facebook on June 23.
“We have attempted to instruct customers waiting in line to wear face coverings and practice social distancing through signage on the public sidewalk and with a banner on our railing,” the venue wrote.
“Our oversight of the line on our stairs has been successful, but trying to get customers to follow our recommendations on the public sidewalk has been challenging,” it added. “Because we have no authority to control lines on public property, we are left with the dilemma of staying open and letting this situation continue, or closing until we can devise a strategy that eliminates the lines altogether.”