Employee at LeRoy’s tests positive for COVID-19; case tied to Harper’s outbreak

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UPDATE (6:04 PM)
Today the Ingham County Health Department is limiting restaurant capacity to 50 percent, or no more than 75 people. This comes as a result of the Harper’s outbreak in East Lansing.

Over the weekend, Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill announced on Facebook that the restaurant was temporarily closing down after someone in the restaurant had tested positive for COVID-19.

Today Leroy’s attorney released a statement confirming that person was an employee who was also working at Harper’s in East Lansing, a business with at least 107 coronavirus cases linked to it.

The statement also says the owners of the business are frustrated that the restaurant’s temporary closure is being linked to the Harper’s outbreak, when the situation is ‘nowhere near’ that to Harper’s.

You can read the full statement below:


Lansing – The owners of LEROY’S Classic Bar and Grill in Lansing are frustrated with reports linking the restaurant’s closure over the weekend to that of an East Lansing campus bar. Attorney Mike Nichols, who represents LEROY’S, says “let’s make it clear – the Cardwell family closed in an abundance of caution so that they could make sure to thoroughly clean and be confident that the chance of a spread was virtually eliminated.” LEROY’S re-opened at 7am on June 29th, 2020. Leroy Cardwell says: “our customers have given us great support since we came back and they’ve given us great support so far today. Our employees all want to work and they’re excited to do their job serving the great people of the great city of Lansing.”

The Cardwell family found out on Tuesday, June 23rd, that a staff member was also on the employee roster for an East Lansing bar that infamously saw an outbreak that now stands at 85. Nichols says: “after discussion with the affected staff person and after reporting the matter to the local health department, the Cardwells decided the best move was to send that staff person home and then to close. Even though the Executive Order on keeping employees safe does not require a closure and even though the Cardwells have been leaders in following social distancing and best practices from the CDC, the closure was the best thing to do for their customers. The staff member was advised not to come back to work without a negative COVID-19 test.”

The Cardwells have been in the same location on South Cedar near Mt. Hope for nearly 30 years. The family shut down the restaurant/bar for the entire stay-home stay-safe period and re-opened on June 8th. Employees are wearing masks, customers are asked to wear them, sanitation stations are provided and signs describe the safety policies throughout the restaurant, along with operating at reduced hours and at a reduced capacity. “We do not want people to confuse LEROY’S as taking a lax approach to the CDC guidelines to protect customers and employees,” Nichols says … he adds “if anything it’s the complete opposite at LEROY’S.” Nichols also points out that Ingham County Public Health Officer Linda Vail observed that there is very little chance of a spread of a virus from the East Lansing Bar to LEROY’S.

WLNS Araceli Crescencio will be following this story and have updates later today.

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