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Why Riverfront Animal Hospital was designated a public exposure site

Three people test positive who were at Riverfront Animal Hospital.
Three people test positive who were at Riverfront Animal Hospital.(WILX)
Published: Jul. 5, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Ingham County Health Department says the dates listed in Saturday's coronavirus site exposure notice should be taken seriously.

At least three people who were at Riverfront Animal Hospital in Lansing, June 23 – July 2, have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The health department advises people who were at the Lansing veterinary clinic on those dates to watch for symptoms of the respiratory disease and possibly seek testing.

“It is not a window of time we’re guessing somebody might’ve been in there. Each of those dates are dates someone who is known COVID positive was on site in that location,” said Health Officer Linda Vail. “There was an awareness during that time that something was going on and testing was going on and yet people were still on site.”

This is only the second incident in Ingham County that the health department decided to issue a public exposure site notice for. Vail says that’s because of the length of time someone was COVID-19 positive inside Riverfront Animal Hospital and the amount of people they may have been in contact with.

“We did get word from her that it would be very difficult for her to tell us all of the clients that were there during that period of time, which is why we sent out the public notice,” said Vail.

The only other time was the notice for Harper’s Bar & Grill.

The health department is investigating and suspect there will be additional positive cases. The vet clinic posted a notice on their door earlier in the week, which announced they would close on Thursday.

"The notice went up on the door about closure and at that point said that there was a confirmed positive and other suspect cases. That was not -- nobody called us about that. That is something that we all had to find out afterwards, so I don't know when. You're posting a note on your door at that point and time apparently already knew," said Vail.

The health department is now waiting on a complete employee list so that they can expand contact tracing.

“This one is hopefully a whole lot smaller than a bar situation. As you know, a bar is a very high risk situation. We kinda expect some of these small outbreaks, we just hope to not have to do a lot of public notification. That if people are doing the proper things that doesn’t end up being required,” said Vail.

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