By Lily Martin
Staff writer 

Local restaurants adjusting to contact book requirement


Last updated 10/27/2020 at 4:35pm

CLOVIS — Giving your name and number is pretty standard fare at most restaurants for take-out or delivery. Now it’s the new normal for in-person dining in New Mexico.

Part of the state’s new health and safety guidelines given out last week include requiring dine-in restaurants to keep a contact book. This new measure is supposed make contact tracing easier should a staff member or diner test positive for COVID-19.

The contact book is essentially a three-week log of all the dine-in customers who passed through a restaurant.

Included in the updated health and safety guidelines is a requirement for businesses to close for two weeks if they have had four positive cases of COVID-19 within a two week period.

Previously during the pandemic, visitor logs were recommended, but not required.

Along with the contact log, restaurants are back to serving at 25% capacity, and retail businesses are required to close by 10 p.m.

Local restaurants have taken up the new guideline as they continue to follow state requirements to be able to stay open.

Gabriel Trujillo, general manager at the Guadalajara Restaurant, said it hasn’t been the easiest health and safety guideline to follow.

“We’re requiring everybody to sign in and we’re just explaining what it’s for,” Trujillo said. “They really don’t want their information out there, but that’s the only push back we get.”

While restaurants have seen some hesitancy from customers about providing their information for state-related contact tracing, they have found ways to make the contact log work for them and diners.

Some restaurants in town will leave the log book out for people to write their information down themselves as they come in. Others will take the name and information from one person in the dining party, and use them as the person to contact in case of a possible tracing scenario. The validity of diners’ names and phone numbers, however, is up to the diners.

In introducing the measures, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked New Mexicans to stay home if at all possible.

“Please, when you must go out, wear a mask, and avoid groups,” said in a release from her office. “Shop alone — don’t bring the whole family. Over the next week, two weeks, three weeks, please be extremely conservative in deciding how much time to spend outside of the home. The visit to friends can wait — it’s not worth your life, or theirs. The visit to family can wait — it’s not worth your life, or theirs. Take care and take caution, and we will successfully protect our hospitals and health care workers.”


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