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Potential COVID-19 exposure at Gaylord restaurant, warns health department

Interlochen Center for the Arts graphic

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is telling recent visitors to Bennethum's Northern Inn in Gaylord that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

A patient who has since tested positive for the disease spent time there on two recent occasions.

In a press release, the department said anyone who attended performances of the band Neshama at Bennethum's may have had "significant exposure" to COVID-19. Neshama peformed once on March 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. and again on March 14 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

Visitors who were around the Inn at those times should isolate and self-quarantine for two weeks from the date they were exposed. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

Dr. Joshua Meyerson with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan says visitors should be wary of community exposure to the disease.

"You don't have to just be at that restaurant or just be exposed to someone that came back from China or Europe, it's here in our community," Meyerson says.

Meyerson says the person who tested positive for COVID-19 and potentially exposed others to it at Bennethum's is currently recovering at home. He says Bennethum's Northern Inn was the only place they visited that posed a threat of spreading the disease to others.

Bennethum's Northern Inn did not respond to a phone call requesting comment, but told followers on Facebook that they're closing effective Monday, March 23.

"Beginning Monday, March 23rd we will be closed. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up to date along the way," the post reads.

As of Monday afternoon, there are over 1,300 cases of the coronavirus in Michigan.