Customers Must Give Bars, Restaurants Contact Information Due to New COVID-19 Order

As the entire state of falls back into stage four, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is requiring bars and restaurants to take customers contact information.

“I would provide it, again I understand why they were doing it,” says Michael Newkirk, from Big Rapids.

The MDHHS issued new coronavirus guidelines on Thursday, and as part of that, customers at bars and restaurants will have to provide their name and contact information, starting Monday.

Steve Hall with the Central Michigan District Health Department says it’s to step up contact tracing efforts.

“I think the thought behind it is by having that contact information it should make investigations happen quicker so that we can actually get a hold of people sooner,” says Hall.

However, Hall says this strategy doesn’t come without concerns:

“The one concern that I have is that people are going to give false information in terms of that and it could actually in turn ultimately take us longer in terms of tracking down people that were in the facility.”

Mallory McCartney from Big Rapids says it could pose as another barrier for restaurants:

“Most people when they want to go out to eat, they’re hoping to just go get seated right away, they don’t expect to write down their name and have to give all of their contact.”

However, she says it’s a step restaurants must take to stay open.

“It’s putting a lot of stress on their shoulders, but if that’s what it’s going to take to be open and keep getting a paycheck, I think they’ll do whatever it takes,” says McCartney.

Hall says in order to get back to the way life used to be:

“If we would all do that and work together; we can get through this.”