Michigan health officials link 85 coronavirus cases to reopened bar

Michigan health officials have connected at least 85 cases of coronavirus to crowds at an East Lansing bar after it was allowed to reopen.

The Ingham County Health Department called on anyone who visited Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub between June 12 and June 20 to self-isolate for 14 days and seek testing.

“Given the number of cases in this outbreak, we consider this a higher risk exposure than a typical visit to a restaurant or bar,” Ingham County health officer Linda Vail said in a statement. “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.”

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While the county first identified at least 34 cases linked to the bar last week, officials as of Saturday have officially upped that number to 85, NBC News reported.

As of last week, all identified cases were between the ages of 18 and 23, with predominantly mild symptoms, including four that were asymptomatic. None have been announced as hospitalized. The Hill has reached out to county officials for comment on whether that remains the case.

The bar closed of its own accord on June 22 to upgrade its HVAC system and develop improved social distancing strategies, NBC news reported. Health department officials determined the bar had been complying with state-mandated safety procedures pertaining to capacity and table spacing.

In a statement, the bar said its primary difficulty had been in maintaining distance on the sidewalk outside.

"Our oversight of the line on our stairs has been successful, but trying to get customers to follow our recommendations on the public sidewalk has been challenging," the statement said, according to NBC News.

With increasing concerns about bars as a vector for infection, Florida and Texas, both of which have experienced major spikes in the virus in recent weeks, have reversed their reopening of bars, while New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFlorida health officials agreed to receive remdesivir from New York before DeSantis dismissed offer Cuomo says Northeast will likely see rise in COVID-19 cases due to surge in other parts of country Overnight Health Care: Coronavirus deaths rise again amid mounting outbreaks | The Trump-Fauci divide is getting more apparent | New York to deliver remdesivir to Florida after DeSantis dismisses offer for help MORE (D) has suggested he may slow the reopening of dine-in establishments in New York City.