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Tipsheet

Washington State Will Allow Restaurants to Reopen As Long as They Implement This Big Brother Tactic

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

States across the nation are working to reopen in various phases depending on their individual area's Wuhan coronavirus curve. Washington State, one of the very first states hit by the deadly virus, is currently moving to phase two of its reopening. 

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Under Gov. Jay Inslee's (D) four-step plan, eight counties – Stevens, Wahkiakum, Skamania, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Columbia, Garfield and Lincoln – have been given the green light to reopen.

Restaurants are included in phase two's reopening, but they have a strict set of guidelines, including offering hand sanitizing stations, limiting guest capacity to 50 percent of the building's maximum occupancy, ensure social distancing can take place between tables and only five people per party are at a table. To eliminate additional exposure, salad bars are closed and restaurants must provide single-use menus and condiments. 

Employees are also required to wear personal protective equipment, including masks, goggles, face shields and gloves. One person is required to monitor employees for the Wuhan coronavirus, which includes checking for COVID symptoms at the beginning of a shift and making sure sick employees are sent home. The designated site director is also responsible for making sure the establishment follows CDC cleaning and sanitizing guidelines.

The craziest aspect though: restaurant owners are required to keep a daily log of every single customer that comes in, as well as their phone number and email. According to the phase two guidelines, owners must hang onto those logs for 30 days in case local health departments need to conduct contract tracing.

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If the state was so worried about contract tracing, why wouldn't they make grocery stores and big box store chains do the same thing? Far more people are gathering in large groups and clusters in stores than they are likely to encounter in restaurants. 

This really is a slippery slope for the government to track people's whereabouts, especially when there's no end in sight. 

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