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Virus cases linked to Harper's bar rise to 152

The Detroit News

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 linked to Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub in East Lansing climbed to 152 on Thursday, Ingham County health officials confirmed.

The figure jumped from 138 reported Wednesday.

The 152 cases include 128 people from 14 counties, ranging in age from 18-28, who were at Harper's, county health officer Linda Vail told The Detroit News.

The rest, 24 considered secondary cases because they involved contact with the customers, were residents age 16-63, she said.

Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub in East Lansing.

The county reported 107 cases on Monday, climbing from 85 Saturday and 22 when officials announced the first infections days earlier.

County health officials expected to see a "significant diminishing" in the number of positive cases related to visiting Harper's, which has been closed for nearly two weeks, Vail said. But it's not yet clear how many cases will result from those who only had contact with those customers.

"It is my hope that those primary cases are going to slow down and we don’t kick off a wave of secondary transmission," Vail said.

Harper's announced on Facebook June 22 it was closing to "implement a program to eliminate lines, and to modify our HVAC system to install an air purifying technology while the air is being conditioned and re-circulated. When we have finished implementing these two strategies, we will have the most state-of-the-art neighborhood venue for you to visit safely."

People who visited Harper’s from June 12-20 are considered exposed and have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days since their visit.

Anyone who was at Harper’s during that time also is urged to seek testing. 

A list of coronavirus testing sites are available on the state's website: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest.

Meanwhile, Ingham County has issued an emergency order reducing restaurant capacity to 50% or no more than 75 people, whichever is less.

The county’s emergency order directly affects large licensed food service establishments with capacities of more than 150. No food service establishment can have more than 75 patrons at one time.

Meanwhile, Michigan was one of 40 states around the country that reported a hike Thursday in new coronavirus cases, with 543 confirmed cases representing the state's highest single-day count since May 29.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases per day in the United States climbed to an all-time high of 50,700 on Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

It represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher than what the country experienced during the most lethal phase of the crisis in April and May, when the New York metropolitan and Detroit areas were among the worst hot spots in the country.

The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing masks or following other social distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns during the past few weeks.

The jump in new cases came as the governor ordered indoor bars and most strip and night clubs to close to stem the spread of infection in the lower part of Michigan.