ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Monday is the first time since mid-November that customers will be allowed to eat and drink inside bars and restaurants in St. Louis County. But there are some new COVID-19 regulations in place, such as getting the name and phone number or email from every group of customers.
The businesses will be required to keep the information on each customer for up to two weeks. The new health order that went into effect Monday states that one customer from each party must provide information to be used in case contact tracing is needed.
County Executive Dr. Sam Page spoke about the changes and says they're asking local establishments to do things they've seen in other parts of the state and the U.S.
He was asked about how they'll protect against people giving false names or contact information.
"It's an opinion of our health department that it would be a very rare event and I hope we don't see it," Page says.
If a positive case is reported, Page says it will be a collaborative effort between the health department and the restaurant or bar where a person who tested positive for COVID-19 may have exposed others. In November, Page announced that the St. Louis County Health Department would no longer help with contact tracing, as they were too overwhelmed with the number of cases skyrocketing at that time.
"The cases are starting to fall in St. Louis County, our public health workers now have more time to help with contact tracing as the numbers continue to go in the right direction," Page says.
Here are some of the other regulations in place starting Monday:
• Food, bar and drinking establishments must limit the number of people allowed in the facility to 25%.
• All indoor and outdoor service to customers should end at 10 p.m. But carry-out service can remain open later.
• No more than 10 people may be seated at a table.
• Customers may not use pool tables, dart boards, arcade games, or any other shared recreational equipment that may be available.
• All customers must wear Face Coverings while entering and exiting the food establishment and if visiting the restaurant restrooms.
Read the full order at STLCorona.com, here.
"This pandemic has been harder on the restaurant industry than most and the new restrictions allow restaurants to open their dining rooms and allow the community to expand their support for local businesses," Page says.
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