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Ingham County reduces restaurant capacity as outbreak linked to local bar grows

EAST LANSING, Mich. – With the total of number of cases linked to Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub now at 107, Ingham County has issued an emergency order reducing restaurant capacity to 50 percent or no more than 75 people, whichever is less.

Executive Order 2020-114 already restricts restaurant capacity to 50 percent of normal seating, but it does not impose a limitation. The county’s emergency order directly affects large licensed food service establishments with capacities of more than 150. No food service establishment may have more than 75 patrons at one time.

“Large crowds are difficult to control,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “By allowing no more than 75 people, restaurants and bars will be better able to enforce social distancing and the use of masks and face coverings. I strongly encourage all bars and restaurants to strictly enforce safety measures and to do all they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus in our community.”

The case count includes 95 primary cases (people who went to Harper’s during the exposure period) and 12 secondary cases (people who were in contact with a primary case but did not go to Harper’s themselves). Of the primary cases, 59 are residents of Ingham County. The others have permanent residency in Clinton, Oakland, Wayne, St. Clair, Macomb, Eaton, Shiawassee, Livingston, Kalamazoo, Ottawa, Berrien and Calhoun counties.

People who visited Harper’s June 12-20 are considered exposed and have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days since their visit. All of the people with cases linked to Harper’s are between the ages of 16 and 28 with a median age of 21. None have been hospitalized. Most have mild symptoms with 28 people being asymptomatic. At least 40 percent are Michigan State University (MSU) students or recent graduates.

State law provides Vail with the authority to issue orders to protect the public health under Section 2453 of the Public Health Code (MCL 333.2453). Those who disregard the order could be subject to a misdemeanor that includes up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $200.

Everyone who was at Harper’s during the exposure period is strongly encouraged to seek testing. A public testing event will be held June 30 from 12-4 p.m. on the MSU campus at 846 Service Road in East Lansing. There is no cost, and no appointment is necessary. Many other options are available for coronavirus testing in the community. People can contact their primary care physician or visit a no-cost testing site. A list is available on the State of Michigan’s website:

For additional information, Ingham County residents can call the ICHD COVID-19 response line at (517) 887-4517 or visit

View the emergency order here:  Emergency Order Ingham2020-10