Cases of coronavirus linked to crowds who visited a Michigan bar after it reopened have increased to 85, according to health officials.
The Ingham County Health Department is asking anyone who has visited Harper’s Restaurant & Brewpub, outside of Michigan State University in East Lansing, between June 12-20, to be quarantined for two weeks.
As of Saturday, 85 people who visited the bar between those dates or have contacted people who did test positive for coronavirus.
When the Ingham County Health Department announced the outbreak on June 23, 14 people who visited the bar tested positive. The next day, 34 people tested positive, the department said.
At that time, all the people who tested positive were between 18 and 23 years old. None had been hospitalized and most had mild symptoms. Four were asymptomatic.
The health department asked everyone who had visited the bar, including those who tested negative, to self-quarantine for 14 days, “self-monitor symptoms and stay away from other household contacts such as family and peers. fourth”.
“Given the number of cases in this outbreak, we consider this to be a higher risk exposure than a typical visit to a restaurant or bar,” said Linda S. Vail, Ingham County Health Officer. “There are likely to be more unidentified COVID-19 infected people. We need help from people who went to Harper’s during the exposure dates so that we can contain the outbreak. We need everyone to be exposed to staying home.”
Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub saw huge crowds after the reopening on June 8, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The bar voluntarily closed June 22 to add air purification to its HVAC system and discover how to keep people adequately socially apart, according to Harper’s and the Ingham County Health Department. Health department inspectors found that Harper’s was “following proper safety procedures related to employees, restaurant capacity, and space between tables.”
A statement from Harper’s said it had reopened to 50 percent of capacity, but that the “extraordinary exuberant response to our reopening has exceeded our expectations,” leading to internal and external lines.
“Our supervision of the line on our stairs has been successful, but trying to get customers to follow our recommendations on the public sidewalk has been a challenge,” the statement said.
A current demographic breakdown of the 85 people who tested positive for coronavirus was not immediately available from the Ingham County Health Department. When the outbreak was first reported, half of the cases were related to Michigan State University.
Florida and Texas governors closed their bars on Friday to stem the rapid spread of coronavirus cases in those states, and on Sunday, seven California counties were ordered to close the bars as cases there increased.