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Business Owners Question New Mandate Requiring Names, Phone Numbers Of Customers
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Photo by Roland Lizarondo
This week across the county restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses are reopening with restrictions following new COVID-19 guidelines — this time establishments are required to take contact information from customers in the event of an outbreak.
The mandate requires businesses to take down the names and phone numbers of everyone who comes inside.
"I do think that it’s a little uncomfortable," said Alison Yu, who's family owns Hunan Chinese Restaurant in Rancho Bernardo. "Having to constantly tell a guest that and they’re not expecting it."
Hunan Chinese just reopened their dining room on Monday after doing just takeout and limited patio seating for the last couple months and worries this new requirement could drive away customers.
"A lot of people aren’t in the loop," Yu said.
While she may not like it, Yu understands it is a mandate and is complying in order to help health officials contact trace if there was a positive case or outbreak reported.
"This is something that really makes it hard to run a business and now they want us to take personal information down from customers," said Ben Clevenger who is the president of San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association.
Clevenger is also the owner of restaurants Eastbound in Lakeside and The Hills in La Mesa. He said the association has been working closely with county health officials during the pandemic, but were caught off guard by the new mandate.
"We’re trying to adhere to everything possible that makes the safety of our staff and patrons the number one priority, and this just doesn’t seem like something that goes toward that," Clevenger said.
County health officials do not believe they are asking for too much.
"We don’t want restaurants or all of the businesses to send this to us we want them to keep it on hand for three weeks," San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said. "This information will help with our contact tracing efforts and help us be more efficient."
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