Number of coronavirus cases connected to East Lansing bar increases to 34

CDC will release coronavirus tests priorities
Posted at 4:07 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 16:07:22-04

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases tied to a bar in East Lansing is up to 34, according to the Ingham County Health Department. That's up from 14 confirmed the day before.

The department is asking anyone who was at Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub between June 12-20 to watch for symptoms of COVID-19.

Those symptoms could develop up to 14 days after exposure, and anyone with symptoms should get tested immediately. People without symptoms may also request testing. Asymptomatic infections do occur and can be contagious. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath and fever.

“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 Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “There are likely more people infected with COVID-19 not yet identified. 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 department is also asking anyone who tested negative to continue to self-quarantine in case of a false-negative test.

Health inspectors found the bar did follow appropriate safety procedures related to employees, restaurant capacity and table spacing. Harper's has voluntarily closed to eliminate lines and modify its HVAC system.

All of those with the cases are between the ages of 18 and 23, and half are connected to Michigan State University. Some have permanent residence in other Michigan counties.

“We know that the virus can be spread when people are in close proximity to each other and are not wearing face coverings. These positive cases underscore the importance of personal responsibility among our students, faculty and staff, and taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others from the unnecessary transmission of COVID-19. This includes wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces and avoiding large gatherings,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of our Spartan community impacted by this virus and we wish them a speedy recovery. We will continue working in partnership with the health department to facilitate any necessary contact tracing and redouble our efforts to educate our community on the importance of the preventative measures we all should be taking.”

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