Owners of Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub release statement on COVID-19 cases

18 coronavirus cases linked to bar

What you need to know about coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak linked to East Lansing bar

EAST LANSING, Mich. – At least 18 people who visited an East Lansing bar have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), officials said.

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.

Read the full statement below

“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.”

Harper’s additional COVID-19 mitigation strategies:

  • Paying for as needed, regular ongoing COVID testing for all employees.
  • Investing in and implementing a new virtual line management app to eliminate the outside lines that alarmed us on city sidewalks. While Harper’s had put down 6-foot social distancing markings hoping that would be a guide, the restaurant didn’t have the authority to enforce on city property. This new system should eliminate those lines.
  • Investing in and modifying the air handling system with air purifying technology to help remove viruses, bacteria and more.
  • To help all establishments enforce appropriate and needed measures, Harper’s is once again urging the city to remove the public drinking areas in downtown East Lansing that lead to crowding situations.

COVID-19 standards in place, other implemented mitigation strategies:

  • All employees and suppliers must undergo a health screening process upon entering the building.
  • All employees and suppliers must wear face coverings while working supplied at no charge by Harper’s.
  • Frequent cleaning and deep sanitizing procedures are implemented for all contact touchpoints and customer contact surfaces.
  • All tables are laid out for appropriate social distancing, and where impossible, plexiglass partitions have been installed to separate tables.
  • Operating at a maximum 50% capacity.

Beyond the above local and state standards, Harper’s has implemented additional policies and procedures, and also made significant financial investments, to help make the environment the safest possible:

  • Free face masks are provided to all customers upon entering.
  • All restrooms have been made touchless environments by installing touchless hand dryers, faucets, urinal and toilet flushing devices (60 devices)
  • Since re-opening, Harper’s closes two days a week to do extensive deep cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the restaurant and in the restrooms with over 100 gallons on hand.
  • All plates and cookware are subjected to two-passes through our high-temperature washing and sanitizing dish machine.
  • All stools at the bars have been removed to provide social distancing and reduce any longer term contact.
  • Chaining deck tables to bolts on the deck so they can’t be moved and always remain 6 feet apart.
  • Large banners have been placed inside and out of the building directing customers to social distance and wear face coverings.
  • Encouraging customers to sit outside when weather permits to provide an outdoor air environment.
  • Disposable plastic glassware is used to avoid multiple person contact of use.
  • Disposable, single-use menus are used to avoid multiple person contact, and to be used as a disposable placement.
  • Disposable, single-use paper napkins are used to avoid contact transfer.
  • Disposable plastic silverware is used to avoid multiple person use.
  • Individual, sealed disposable packets of salt, pepper and condiments are provided to avoid multiple touches of traditional serving containers.
  • Regular communication with all staff and management to improve policies and procedures based upon daily input.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.