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Health Screening and Contact Tracing Software Now Available to Michigan Restaurants

Oakland County and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association will begin offering health screening and contact tracing software options to restaurants

STOP, Body Temperature required sign, at Restaurant entrance, Queens, NY Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With Michigan restaurants and bars allowed to reopen for dine-in service at 25 percent capacity, health screening and contact tracing technology for these businesses has become more readily available.

The Department of Economic Development in Oakland County plans to offer free health screening technology to county schools and restaurants using Clear to Go software and its corresponding mobile app, according to WXYZ Detroit. Clear to Go records a configurable set of health-related questions with the option to record an individual’s body temperature. For restaurant workers who clear the health screening, the software acts as a temporary work permit for the day. Clear to Go also records and tracks information for individuals who fail a health screening before entering a restaurant or school.

Similarly, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association just announced it will begin offering health screening and contact tracing software for staff and patrons at no cost to its members. Non-member businesses pay $25 per month for the technology. The software comes from Midland, Michigan-based BYOD, a virtual restaurant manager company incorporating artificial intelligence.

Like the Oakland County software and app, Temp Protect screens restaurant staff using a five-question survey with a QR code for location scanning. Employee responses are encrypted and stored securely in the cloud, acting as a daily work permit for those who clear each health screening.

Corresponding software called Guest Protect allows restaurants to gather contact tracing information from patrons using a QR code scanned with the camera on a smartphone. People enter their name, phone number, and email. Information gathered is then encrypted and stored on the cloud and can be provided to the health department in case of a COVID-19 exposure or outbreak at the establishment.

Last August, Michigan began publicly posting its weekly data on COVID-19 outbreaks by setting. This data provides a better picture of what types of locations, industries, and activities are driving new and ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks within the state.

Businesses are required by the state to ask for a patron’s contact information for tracing purposes, though they don’t have to do any verification, such as requesting an ID. If someone refuses to provide their contact information, businesses can deny entrance to that person. The state recommends businesses collect and keep contact information on file for 28 days before destroying it, in the event of a COVID-19 case or outbreak associated with the establishment.