85 people who visited a specific bar in Michigan test positive

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This is my opportunity to remind you all that I live in Los Angeles County and that we are currently number one for the amount of Coronavirus cases *waves big foam #1 finger* Yay us. And we had some of the most stringent quarantine orders in place (not that everyone followed the mind you, but they were there). Gov Newsom and Mayor Garcetti just re-shut all our bars. It was a disheartening announcement, not that I don’t think they should (I do), but because like everyone else, I want to think we are edging ourselves out of the pandemic when clearly we are not. However, it’s obviously for the best. I say ‘obviously’ because in Michigan two weeks ago, one establishment, Harper’s Restaurant & Brewery, was ground zero for 85 new cases of COVID-19.

Coronavirus cases linked to crowds who visited a Michigan bar after it reopened have risen to 85, according to health officials.

The Ingham County Health Department is asking anyone who visited Harper’s Restaurant & Brewpub, outside of Michigan State University in East Lansing, between June 12 and 20, to self-quarantine for two weeks.

As of Saturday, 85 people who visited the bar between those dates or have come in contact with people who did have tested positive for coronavirus.

When the Ingham County Health Department announced the outbreak on June 23, 14 people who visited the bar had tested positive. The next day, 34 people had tested positive, the department said.

“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.”

[From NBC News]

The report said the bar reopened on June 8 and voluntarily closed again briefly on the 22nd to add air purifying to their HVAC system. The county health inspectors said Harper’s had followed all “appropriate safety procedures related to employees, restaurant capacity and table spacing.” The restaurant said it had been very successful managing its entrance and dining area, but people waiting on the public sidewalk were not adhering to the restaurant’s recommendations. This is so hard for restaurants. They can do everything right, but they can’t control the people coming in. The responsibility for keeping us safe should fall on the individuals, but it’s the businesses that take the hit (some deservedly, sure). Like Hugo’s Tacos here in LA, who closed their locations for their employees’ mental health because of what they endured trying to enforce the restaurants’ face-mask policy. I get the obvious answer is keep it all closed but even for restaurants and bars that can afford to pay their employees during the closure, wait and bar staff really do live on tips. I want to return to ‘normal’ life as much as anybody but not at the cost of someone’s else’s health.

We’re officially open for dine-in service!🎉 Come chill on the patio #mondayfunday #patioseason

Photo credit: Instagram and Anna Shvets via Pexels

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