Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub in East Lansing, Mich., is popular with students at nearby Michigan State University, who flocked to the place after an executive order allowed restaurants and bars in the state to reopen on June 8.
So did the coronavirus.
At least 95 people who visited Harper’s between June 12 and June 20 have now tested positive, according to the Ingham County Health Department — and so have 12 more who did not go themselves but caught the virus from someone who did. All are between the ages of 15 and 28.
“Given the number of cases in this outbreak, we consider this a higher risk exposure than a typical visit to a restaurant or bar,” the county health officer, Linda S. Vail, said in a statement last week, when the county had confirmed 34 cases and knew there were probably many more.
“We need help from people who went to Harper’s during the exposure dates so that we can contain the outbreak,” Ms. Vail said. “We need everyone exposed to stay home.”
The state order allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining restricted them to filling 50 percent of their regular capacity. But photos and video posted on social media appeared to show Harper’s crammed with customers, many of them not wearing masks.
Most of the 107 people have been only mildly ill, so far at least, and some have felt no symptoms at all, the health department said; none have yet been hospitalized.
Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub said on its website that it followed health guidelines, including having its tables “laid out for appropriate social distancing,” and said that its “air handling systems are being modified to kill 99.4 percent of all Covid-19 and other viruses.” The restaurant’s management could not be reached for comment on Monday.