18 Harper's patrons test positive for COVID-19

Health Department recommends testing for anyone who was there June 12-20

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(This story was updated at 4 p.m. to reflect additional cases tied to this recent outbreak.)

The Ingham County Health Department is warning customers of Harper's Restraurant & Brew Pub to watch for COVID-19 symptoms after at least 18 people — including 12 Ingham County residents — who recently visted the East Lansing bar tested positive for the infectious disease.

"The health department advises people who were in the East Lansing establishment June 12-20 to watch for symptoms of the respiratory disease," an announcement today said.

Harper's reopened  for inside dining June 8, the first day it was allowed. City Pulse reported that night on the crowds there: "By 8:30, a long line had formed on the sidewalk. The patios were jammed. If tables were six feet apart outside, customers certainly were not.  They partied like it was 1969. The music roared."

The department's statement said people with symptoms should get tested, but also said anyone who visited Harper's during the period concern may be tested.

"Asymptomatic infections do occur and can be contagious," it said "Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath and fever."

After City Pulse pubished its report on June 8, a sign went up asking patrons to wear masks while waiting in line.

Harper's closed voluntarily yesterday to  "implement a program to elininate lines and to modify its HVAC system," the health department statement said.

The health department said everyone who tested positive was 19 to 23 years old, with half of them connected to Michigan State University.

“I wouldn’t call it a second wave. It’s just a leaky spot in getting this under control,” Vail said, noting that businesses have a responsibility to enforce social distancing measures and masks. 

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