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Washington State will force restaurants to keep customer logs to help with contract tracing

The establishments will have to keep the logs for 30 days.

Published: May 12, 2020 3:02pm

Updated: May 12, 2020 4:27pm

The state of Washington as part of its economic reopening plan will require restaurants to keep detailed files of every customer that comes in – an effort to help the state track down and possibly quarantine anyone who may be suspected of having coronavirus. 

As part of "Phase 2" of the government's staggered reopening, the state will order restaurants to "create a daily log of all customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information and time in."

"This will facilitate any contact tracing that might need to occur," the government directive states. 

"Contact tracing" is the practice of tracking and isolating anyone who has come into contact with COVID-positive individuals. State governments across the country are in the process of developing their own specific tracing programs as they prepare to reopen their economies after weeks and months of lockdown. 

Washington will place numerous other strict requirements on restaurants during its second phase of reopening, including single-use menus, "social distancing" arrangements, 50% seating capacity in outdoor and indoor dining areas, and no more than five customers to a party. 

"No restaurant may operate until they can meet and maintain all the requirements" in the government's directives, the order states. 

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