Chatham Requiring Restaurants to Advise of Virus Cases

CHATHAM – Chatham officials have officially implemented a mandate that restaurants must notify the public about positive coronavirus cases among their staff members, vendors, or visitors.

The town became the first in Massachusetts to require that information to be released publicly. Before the new requirement was adapted, restaurants just had to alert the Chatham Health Department.

The decision was previously considered as a way to be more transparent with residents and visitors.

Cleaning and sanitizing will take place while the site is closed to the public.

Board of Health member Noble Hansen noted that previously, restaurants had to wait 24 hours before deep cleaning could be carried out.

“That’s kind of a step up from what we were doing before,” Hansen said.

A minimum 24 hour closure was also required for all restaurants with positive tests by the state, in order to account for cleaning and sanitizing along with contact tracing.

Now, no specific closing time is in place, meaning that restaurants could potentially reopen the day after closing and cleaning.

“That’s why that change in the guidance has taken place,” Chatham Health and Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said.

“There’s not necessarily a benefit to that 24 hour closure period.”

Officials will continue to protect the information of those who tested positive, even as restaurants will have to report that their sites have seen positive cases.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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