LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Meals at Michigan restaurants came with a new side dish Monday: What’s your name and phone number?
The latest order kicked in from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health department. Restaurants must be able to contact customers if there’s a virus case linked to the business.
Michigan’s coronavirus cases have risen significantly, setting a new daily high Saturday at 3,792, the health department said.
The Michigan Restaurants & Lodging Association insists COVID-19 transmission doesn’t occur much at restaurants. The group predicts job losses and more financial strife because of the requirement.
“You have guests that feel it’s intruding on their personal liberties and freedoms, and now we’ve got to be the arbitrator of that,” said Jeff Lobdell, president of Restaurant Partners Management, which operates 12 eateries in western Michigan.
Restaurants, bars and other venues must seat no more than six people at a table. The state said indoor settings are much more likely to drive COVID-19 outbreaks than outdoor settings.
The seven-day average of daily new, confirmed cases in Michigan has risen over the past two weeks from 1,379 to 3,113, a record. The seven-day average of daily deaths has increased from 14 to about 25 over the same period, though deaths remain well below the April peak of 157.
Henry Ford Health System reported 177 COVID-19 patients Monday at five hospitals in southeastern Michigan, up 60% compared to a week ago.
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