MSU President responds after COVID-19 cases linked to East Lansing bar

Local News

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. released a statement after at least 14 people who recently visited Harper’s Restaurant & Brew Pub tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stanley said, “We know that the virus can be spread when people are in close proximity to each other and are not wearing face coverings. These positive cases underscore the importance of personal responsibility among our students, faculty and staff, and taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others from the unnecessary transmission of COVID-19. This includes wearing a cloth face covering in public spaces and avoiding large gatherings.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of our Spartan community impacted by this virus and we wish them a speedy recovery. We will continue working in partnership with the health department to facilitate any necessary contact tracing and redouble our efforts to educate our community on the importance of the preventative measures we all should be taking,” Stanley said.

“I don’t think it’s surprising and I do think it’s alarming,” said Brett Etchebarne. He is an emergency medicine assistant professor at Michigan State University.

He said, “It’s pretty impossible to think that there’s some sort of magical barrier that’s gonna prevent that transmission back up our way eventually as every body travels more, are more relaxed.”

Etchebarne said he is concerned after seeing the multiple cases linked to Harper’s since the plan is for students to return in the fall.

“I think you have to be no matter how caviler you could be on the situation,” said Etchedbarne. “I’ve never really told anyone get ready to start doing stuff in the fall because I’m just kind of been waiting to see what happens, just hearing about it over the past few weeks, colleagues who work as emergency medicine physicians down in Arizona and Texas are telling me that it’s a very bad situation.”

The health department advises people who were at Harpers June 12-20 to watch for symptoms of respiratory disease.

People with symptoms, which may develop up to 14 days after exposure, should seek immediate testing for COVID-19. People without symptoms may also request testing. Asymptomatic infections do occur and can be contagious. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath, and fever.

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