EAST LANSING, Mich. – At least 18 people who visited an East Lansing bar have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), officials said.
UPDATE: 65 cases now linked to outbreak
The patients who tested positive visited Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub between June 12 and June 20. They are all between 19 and 23 years old, officials said.
About half of the positive patients have a connection to Michigan State University, according to authorities.
Health officials said anyone who visited the bar during that time period should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms can develop for up to 14 days after exposure.
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“Anyone could have COVID-19,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail said. “You never know because some people with coronavirus are not yet sick, and some people never have signs of the disease. We need people to treat every person they encounter as a potential carrier. That means wearing masks and keeping six feet away from others. I strongly urge everyone to take precautions so that we can keep infections down and keep businesses open.”
Inspectors from the health department said Harper’s followed appropriate safety protocols. The bar voluntarily closed Monday to eliminate lines and modify its HVAC system, officials said.
The increase in Ingham County COVID-19 cases reported for June 22 was the largest the county has seen since May 27.
“We know that the virus can be spread when people are in close proximity to each other and are not wearing face coverings,” MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “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. 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.”
Anyone hoping to get tested for the coronavirus can call their doctor or visit a testing site.