East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub responded today to a health department report finding 25 COVID-19 cases linked to a patron who visited Harper’s between June 12-20.

In the statement, the owners said they have temporarily closed and are investing in new air filtration technology as well as a virtual line management app to mitigate the city sidewalk lines.

While Harper’s had put down 6-foot social distancing markings hoping that would be a guide, the restaurant didn’t have the authority to enforce on city property. This new system should eliminate those lines.

The owners said they will make sure all their employees are tested for coronavirus and they will pay for the employees’ tests.

“Our small family business takes its role and responsibility in our community very seriously – especially when it comes to the health and safety of our customers and team members. That’s why we have taken every measure to not only meet, but exceed, local, state and federal guidance for reopening during this COVID-19 health pandemic, which has been confirmed by the Ingham County Health Department. That’s also why we have closed temporarily, to implement added safety precautions. We understand that people who tested positive for COVID-19 visited our establishment as well as several others in East Lansing. So before we are-open, we are investing in new air filtration technology as well as a virtual line management app that will help negate city sidewalk lines that we have no control or authority over. We are also making sure all of our employees are tested. As a family-owned and operated business, we will not waiver from our commitment to go above and beyond, diligently maintaining health standards and protocols to help keep our employees and guests safe.”

Pat and Trisha Riley

Other practices Harper’s has adapted include requiring all employees and suppliers to undergo health screenings before entering the building, all employees and suppliers must wear face coverings while working and the restaurant will provide masks to them at no cost.

Harper’s also plans to clean and deeply sanitize all surfaces that customers come into contact with.

Additionally, tables will be arranged for social distancing and where possible, plexiglass partitions have been installed to separate tables.

Harper’s will also operate at a 50% capacity.

Beyond the above local and state standards, Harper’s has implemented additional policies and procedures, and also made significant financial investments, to help make the environment he safest possible:

  • Free face masks are provided to all customers upon entering.
  • All restrooms have been made touchless environments by installing touchless hand dryers, faucets, urinal and toilet flushing devices (60 devices)
  • Since re-opening, Harper’s closes two days a week to do extensive deep cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the restaurant and in the restrooms with over 100 gallons on hand.
  • All plates and cookware are subjected to two-passes through our high-temperature washing and sanitizing dish machine.
  • All stools at the bars have been removed to provide social distancing and reduce any longer term contact.
  • Chaining deck tables to bolts on the deck so they can’t be moved and always remain 6 feet apart.
  • Large banners have been placed inside and out of the building directing customers to social distance and wear face coverings.
  • Encouraging customers to sit outside when weather permits to provide an outdoor air environment.
  • Disposable plastic glassware is used to avoid multiple person contact of use.
  • Disposable, single-use menus are used to avoid multiple person contact, and to be used as a disposable placement.
  • Disposable, single-use paper napkins are used to avoid contact transfer.
  • Disposable plastic silverware is used to avoid multiple person use.
  • Individual, sealed disposable packets of salt, pepper and condiments are provided to avoid multiple touches of traditional serving containers.
  • Regular communication with all staff and management to improve policies and procedures based upon daily input.