3 at Royal Oak bar test positive for COVID-19

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Oakland County health officials are warning patrons of a Royal Oak nightspot that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 after three visitors there this month tested positive.

All three people reported being at Fifth Avenue Royal Oak, where they noted "crowded conditions" the evening of June 19 before symptoms started, the county health division said.

According to its Facebook page, the venue reopened for business on June 8.

A patio at Fifth Avenue Royal Oak.

“The risk of COVID-19 exposure is heightened under crowded conditions, where social distancing cannot be achieved," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer at Oakland County Health Division. “Restaurants, bars and nightclubs have been allowed to open with requirements to reduce their capacity to 50 percent of normal seating so that social distancing can be achieved.”

Fifth Avenue customers are asked to monitor for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus, which can appear two to 14 days after exposure. These include fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; loss of taste or smell; a sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; and diarrhea.

For information on COVID-19, go to www.oakgov.com/covid, call the Help Hotline at (248) 858-1000 or email hotline@oakgov.com. A nurse is on call at (800) 848-5533 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. 

“We are urging all of our businesses, especially the bars which are attracting crowds, to follow the governor’s orders and take the necessary steps to protect their workers and customers," said David Coulter, Oakland County Executive. "We have made good progress in managing what is a highly contagious virus and we can’t backslide now. Social distancing and facial coverings work and they are critical to our safe reopening strategies.”

News of the Royal Oak exposure came hours after Ingham County officials confirmed 107 COVID-19 cases have been linked to an East Lansing bar and eatery.

Also Monday, Michigan confirmed four coronavirus deaths and 236 new cases

The average case number for the past seven days was up to 298 a day from an average of 192 a day for the previous seven-day period, according to state data. 

The rising caseload in other states bumped Michigan out of the top 10 for cases of the virus, falling to No. 11, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. Michigan still ranks sixth for the most deaths.

To date, the state has tallied 69,946 known cases of COVID-19, including 6,685 probable cases, since the disease was first detected in Michigan in March. 

Michigan's death toll from the disease now stands at 6,157, including 246 probable deaths.