Restaurants required to take customers name/information for contact tracing

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services revised and extended their epidemic order and it comes with some new changes.

6 News spoke with Governor Gretchen Whitmer Thursday evening, who supports the changes.

“I think it’s the right thing to do you know are seeing our Covid numbers increasing,” Whitmer said, “as tough as the spring was, these numbers are much higher than what we even saw in the spring so every one of us should be concerned.”

For workers at bars and restaurants, they will have to take customers names and information to help with contact tracing.

“When it comes to gathering data and sensitive data such as this, I don’t feel like it should be placed in our hand,” said the general manager of the Soup Spoon Cafe in Lansing, Keith Buchele.

Buchele says his workers already started taking their customer’s information, even though the order doesn’t go into effect until Monday. “We’re going to hand out checks to every guest, even if they’re not paying the bill, they’re going to get something that has a place for their name and their phone number,” he said.

He also has some unanswered questions… “how do I enforce this? Do I call the police if someone doesn’t do it? If you write down Joe Bob Briggs and then have a made-up phone number, how am I suppose to know that? I have no clue, I can’t force that, I can’t force to see everyone’s I.D.” he added.

He says he expects many customers will not be happy about the new rules.

“There’s going to be push back from guests on this like I think people are going to react worst to this than they did to the mask mandate, this is more intrusive,” said Buchele.

The order also only allows for six people at a table. Buchele says they’ve already had an 8 person party cancel their reservations for this weekend. “That’s lost revenue for us,” Buchele added.

One of the biggest changes coming from this order is the limitation on indoor gatherings. Up to 500 people were allowed inside an indoor gathering…now, it’s only 50.

To see more about this order, click here.

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