More than 150 Coronavirus Cases Linked to East Lansing Bar and Restaurant

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) More than 150 cases of coronavirus have been tied to a bar and restaurant near Michigan State University. 

The Ingham County Health Department told WWJ 128 people who went to Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub in East Lansing have tested positive for COVID-19. 

At least 24 people who have been in direct contact with them have contracted the virus. 

“One of the things I’m worried about now is secondary cases….they are in 7 counties. The outbreak itself, in terms of primary cases, is in 14 different counties across the state." Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Department Officer, said. "Anywhere from the Detroit area, to southwest Michigan, to the Lake Michigan shore."

Vail said contact tracing has been effective to contain the spread. 

The Ingham County Health Department said the primary cases are in people age 18 to 23 who attended the bar between June 12 and June 20. 

Health officials are urging anyone who went to Harper’s during that time to self-quarantine for two weeks and get tested. Testing is available in communities across Michigan at no cost. 

Click here to find to a test site near you.

During that quarantine, they should remain at least six feet apart from other household members and self-monitor for symptoms. 

Click here for a list of symptoms. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says wearing a mask in public places, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and staying home if you are sick are the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus. 

Click here for more information on how to protect yourself and others. 

In the meantime, Harper’s remains closed while it puts safety procedures in place. 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.” 

This comes as Michigan reported its biggest jump in new cases on Thursday since the end of May, with 543 more residents testing positive for the virus and two new deaths. 13 more deaths were also identified through a records review process of matching death records to positive COVID-19 test results.