At Least 85 New Coronavirus Cases Linked to Michigan Bar After Reopening

Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub closed on June 22 after at least 85 visitors contracted COVID-19 in the past month

Photo: Getty Images

Patrons of a bar in East Lansing, Michigan, are being asked to self-quarantine after 85 people contracted the novel coronavirus after visiting this past month.

Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub, which reopened on June 8, saw the number of visitors contracting COVID-19 increase from 34 on Wednesday to 85 on Saturday, and that number is expected to rise, Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail told CNN.

Vail said that anyone who visited Harper's between June 12 and June 20 should self-quarantine and report cases of coronavirus.

"Given the number of cases in this outbreak, we consider this a higher risk exposure than a typical visit to a restaurant or bar," Vail said. "There are likely more people infected with COVID-19 not yet identified."

The Health Department said that Harper's followed safety guidelines for employees, capacity guidelines and table spacing, despite the increase of coronavirus cases.

On June 22, the bar confirmed in a Facebook post that they were closing "temporarily" to install air purifiers and to eliminate lines.

"This closing will cause a hardship on many of our employees through the loss of wages that had just re-started," the bar said. "This at a time when they are just overcoming a three-month layoff. They have rent, mortgages, car payments, grocery bills and everyday living expenses to address. But we believe for the safety of all, it is the right thing to do."

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Michigan is among over half of the U.S. states currently seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. As of June 28, the state has at least 69,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

On Sunday, CNN reported that the only states experiencing a decrease of coronavirus cases are Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The states reporting a rise in cases, per CNN, are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Meanwhile, cases are tracking steady in Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Virginia.

Martin Schwartz/PEOPLE

On June 24, the U.S. set a new record for daily coronavirus infections with well over 36,000 new reported cases, surpassing the previous high from April.

Despite the surge of cases, many states are continuing to roll back stay-at-home orders and moving forward with their reopening plans.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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