GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Health Department’s director tells FOX17 he’s angered by several bars and restaurants not following covid-19 safety guidelines.
Recently, over 100 patrons got sick after visiting Harper’s Bar in East Lansing. Pictures posted online show long lines outside the building, with few wearing masks or social distancing.
This week, a video online showed a large crowd on the dancefloor at Social House bar in downtown Grand Rapids. The Kent County Health Department shut down Social House Monday until they could comply with social distancing and mask guidelines.
“It makes me very angry,” said Dr. Adam London, director of the Kent County Health Department. “It makes me very angry because they jeopardize not only their own business, they jeopardize other businesses and most importantly they jeopardize the health and safety of this community. And that’s unacceptable.”
Dr. London says after flattening Michigan’s case curve in the weeks of early- to mid-June, Michigan has started to see the numbers rebound recently.
“Late last week we started to see those numbers come up again where we started to see days where you have 30 or 40 or we had 52 cases one day,” said Dr. London. “We’re not seeing a full resurgence in cases. We’ve had some instability over the past few days. We’re in a very precarious spot.”
Dr. London says, similar to the start of the pandemic, our actions now will affect us months down the road. As recently as bars and restaurants opened back up, they could shut down again just as quickly if cases continue to rise, London says.
“As people’s personal adherence to the public health recommendations wanes somewhat - especially with mask use and social distancing - we’re going to see instability, we’re going to see some more cases,” he added.
This week, the state moved the Grand Rapids region into a Medium-High risk category, but kept our region in Phase 3 of the state’s Safe Start Plan.
Dr. London says it’s no time to let down your guard and abandon safe practices like mask-wearing and social distancing. In fact, he says it’s as important of a time as ever.
“Now we’re in this long stretch of time between flattening the curve,” he said, “and having a vaccine available where we have to find a way to live with Covid-19 in as least destructive of a way as possible.”