Gov. Inslee helps restaurant industry, patients who need elective surgery and dental work

VIDEO: Gov. Inslee gives update on restaurant industry, patients

OLYMPIA, Wash. — It was just last week that Gov. Jay Inslee ordered that restaurant customers would be required to give their names and phone numbers before dining in. But now he's changed his mind.

The Budd Bay Cafe has been a popular fixture on the Olympia waterfront for three decades. It will welcome back dine-in customers when phase two of the reopening takes effect, hopefully as scheduled on June 1.

Last week, Gov. Inslee said customers would be required to give their names and numbers in case they were needed for tracking, something co-owner Pam Oates dreaded.

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“It would have been difficult to go to each person. Kind of concerned about how people might think of it being an invasion of their privacy,” she said.

The restaurant will put 6 feet of separation between tables and the bar will remain closed. Late Friday, Gov. Inslee decided to make the sign-ins voluntary instead of mandatory.

“We think we'll get enough compliance,” the governor said,

"since families might want contact tracers to be able to find them if they’re exposed to COVID-19."

“I think that plan will be less adversarial between us and our guests and I think that's going to make for a better experience,” said Anthony Anton of the Washington Hospitality Association.

On another matter, those who need elective surgery and dental work will appreciate that Gov. Inslee has now cleared the way for procedures that aren't an emergency.

Elective surgeries had been canceled in order to preserve personal protective gear.

That led to 6000 furloughs in the multi-care health system alone.

“We cannot go very long with the level of income we currently have as health care systems and have a viable healthcare system for very long,” said Multi Care CEO Bill Robertson.