Gov. Chris Sununu said he has approved a proposal that will require restaurants to gather basic information about patrons in order to assist with contact tracing if someone at the establishment tests positive for COVID-19.
The governor said his Economic Reopening Task Force received a request from the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association to require restaurants to collect a name, telephone number and time of arrival from patrons.
In recent weeks, about a dozen restaurants across the state have closed their doors temporarily after an employee or customer tested positive for the coronavirus.
"This proposal really seeks to help our contact tracing program get in touch with people if they may have been exposed to COVID-19," Sununu said Thursday. The process has worked very well in other states across the country, including most New England states.
He said the process shouldn't be too invasive, as that same information is usually collected for anyone making a reservation.
"We just want to make it simple for folks," Sununu said.
He said the proposal will take effect Saturday.
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As of Thursday, 10,772 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 131 from the previous day. Four new deaths were announced, bringing the total to 482.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire has increased over the past two weeks from about 80 cases per day on Oct. 13 to 110 cases per day. The rate of positivity continues to hover around 1%.
"The numbers are definitely ticking up," Sununu said. "The percent positivity is still low, but a lot of states six weeks ago were having 1 to 2% positivity."