Contact-tracing has become a thing that we will now have to get used to if you’re going to hang out at a dine-in restaurant or bar in Michigan.

Last week tighter restrictions came about through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services which took capacity at a lot of places and events down. For instance, as WZZM reports, weddings, banquets or parties can I have no more than 50 people at them if you’re at an indoor venue without fixed seating. That number before Monday was set at 500 people. Also now when you go to dine in or at a bar you can no longer have more than six people sit at your table. They’re also going to ask you for your name and phone number in case an outbreak happens at that location, so you can get a call and be told to self-isolate and get tested.

As these new rules are put into place, please keep it in mind as you head out for dinner or drinks.. and when the wait staff asks you for that information, don’t freak out on them. The pandemic is putting a lot of strain on what you feel you should be able to do or not do (ie. wearing a mask) and is starting to intrude on our privacy by asking for phone numbers, but remember, if you have a real problem with giving out that info, you can always stay home until things subside again. I’m worried about already fatigued restaurant workers who are likely a bit nervous to have to now go to work and ask for names and phone numbers, knowing a fair group of people will decide to treat them like dirt. Just keep in mind that these people are simply trying to pay their bills and that somewhere out there they are someone’s son or daughter.

WZZM also published a few recommendations from the MDHHS, as we’re starting to also think about gathering for Thanksgiving,

  • Get together outside whenever possible. You have up to 20 times higher risk of getting sick inside.
  • If you do get together inside, include no more than two households and 10 people.
  • Limit time inside together—greater duration is greater risk.
  • Wear a mask – take it off when you eat or drink, then put it back on.
  • Keep six feet apart as much as you can.
  • When possible, keep voices down; high volume can increase COVID transmission by 30 times
  • Wash hands regularly and try to not to share utensils.