Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a clarification today on his requirement that restaurants must collect contact information from all diners on behalf of state health officials.
He said the mandate is now voluntary for patrons.
“We are asking visitors to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure. We only need information for one person per household. If we learn you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your visit, the information will only be shared with public health officials. They will contact you to explain the risk, answer questions and provide resources,” he said in a statement on his official website.
He assured the public that the information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. “If this list is not used within 30 days, it will be destroyed,” Inslee said. “This will not be required of anyone.”
Anchorage has a requirement for restaurants that they must collect the contact information from all their diners, something that has been met with resistance by Alaskans who say this is an invasion of their privacy.
The State of Alaska also has such a mandate as part of the govenor’s plan to reopen the state’s economy.
Neither the municipality of Anchorage or the State have put safeguards around the collection of the information.