As you may have heard in the media, the Governor announced yesterday an update to the Safer at Home Restaurant Guidelines to include a new requirement for food establishments to collect contact information from diners to aid in contact tracing efforts should a COVID 19 case be linked to the establishment (see attached). This change in the guidance was requested and endorsed by the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association and is consistent with requirements in other New England States.
The new language regarding the contact tracing information collection is as follows:
“Solely for contact tracing purposes, restaurants shall maintain a record of
customers, including one customer name and contact phone number per party, the
table number or bar seat number, the server or bartenders name, and the date and
time they were in the establishment, for at least 21 days. To-go and window service
areas are exempt from this requirement”
Q: Why is this important?
A: This information is critical in the contact tracing process. If a worker or patron is found to be infectious, public health officials will be able to quickly and thoroughly identify close contacts and contact them to allow for quarantine of those individuals in hopes to minimize any additional spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, when public health officials are unable to determine who was exposed to COVID-19 in a particular setting, through contact tracing, we have an obligation to make the public aware of a possible exposure. This requirement, when followed, would assure that all potential contacts would be able to be identified for follow-up and as such would minimize the need for these broad notifications.
Everything we do to minimize the spread of COVID-19, helps us reduce the need to enact additional restrictions in the community. Everyone wants to return to pre-COVID operations, but we cannot let our guard down.
Additional questions and answers:
Q: Do these requirements apply to small ‘Mom & Pop’ sized restaurants where customers seat themselves at open tables?
A: Yes, they do. They apply to any place where people actually sit and eat – either indoors or outdoors.
Q: Would the establishment have to ask the customer at the counter when they place their order and then somehow document where the customers sit?
A: Yes, The business either needs to ask the customers at the counter or go over to their tables and ask the information.
Note: If the business does not currently have a table numbering system, they should create one now so they can record that information and any contact information they can obtain from the customers.
Q: As a result of this guidance change, should a restaurant deny service to customers who prefer not to provide a name and phone number?
A: No. A food establishment should make an effort to collect this information, but a customer providing this information to the restaurant is not a requirement for them to be provided service.
That said, there is nothing that prevents a food establishment from making this a requirement for service as part of their own policies. This is in the best interest of food establishments to avoid the possibility of public notifications when exposed contacts cannot be identified.
Q: Is karaoke allowed as are solo musical performers?
A: NO. Karaoke is NOT allowed in indoor settings. Only outdoor karaoke is permitted and shared microphones are not allowed.
More information on the broad range of industry specific guidance documents can be found here: https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/
The City of Manchester Health Department Urges All Manchester Residents
to Follow Five Recommendations to Prevent a Surge in COVID-19 Cases
1. To universally wear masks.
2. Maintain physical distancing.
3. Avoid congregate settings or crowds.
4. Do more outdoors, as opposed to indoors.
5. Wash hands frequently.
Please read the full Press Release following this link: Five Funadamentals Press Release
As the City of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire look forward to the re-opening of businesses across the state; The Governor’s economic reopening taskforce has released the Food Service reopening guidance. The updated guidance is effective on October 30th, 2020.
Click on Safer at Home to view the entire pdf.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified the first batch of mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) this season. The batch was found recently in the city of Manchester. DHHS is working in partnership with the City of Manchester Health Department on providing additional risk mitigation information to Manchester residents and surrounding towns.
Please read the the full press realease for more information and prevention guidelines. NH DHHS West Nile Virus Press Realease
The samples collected on August 12, 2020 are within acceptable bathing limits and the Public beach swimming area and facility may resume normal operations.
Please read the Official Press Release Here
The Manchester Health Department announced today that the public beach at Crystal Lake is closed to swimming due to elevated levels of E.coli bacteria. The elevated bacteria levels were identified in water samples taken on Monday, August 10, 2020. Water samples taken at other locations on Crystal Lake did not find elevated levels of E. coli bacteria.
The Health Department has re-sampled the area and results from those samples are expected on Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Once E. coli levels are found to be acceptable, the public beach will be re-opened for swimming. The Department will issue a press release when the results are available.
Weekly water sample results are available at:
Click here to view the Press Release
*Edit Wednesday August 12, 2020 resample results remain above acceptable levels; Beach closure to remain in effect. Re-sampling we be performed today results are expected Thursday August 13, 2020.
The Manchester Health Department has recently become aware of reports in other communities within the State regarding people falsely representing themselves as a food inspector. Please know that the Manchester Health Department inspectors always wear a city issued identification and present it when identifying ourselves to our establishments. We will never ask for, nor will we accept any payments outside of the office, nor do we charge a fee for inspections and services.
If you suspect an impostor, ask to see the individuals identification which has the city seal, their name, and position clearly displayed. When in doubt, contact the Manchester Police Department and the Manchester Health Department.
The Manchester Health Department is open for non-clinical services and by appointment only. Please call 624-6466 to schedule an appointment, M-F 8:00am-5:00pm. When you arrive please call 624-6466 to check –in. Clinical services will be available soon. Please check back frequently
The National Weather Service is forecasting an extended period of hot temperatures and high humidity beginning Thursday July 9 through at least Friday July 10. Please take the proper steps to stay safe during this heat wave.
Read Heat Prevention for more details.
The Manchester Community Schools Project (MCSP), an initiative of the City of Manchester Health Department, has developed a Family Fun Guide for summer 2020. Your Guide to summer fun in the Queen City.
Please read Summer_Family_Fun_Guide for all of the locations and programs available.
As the City of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire look forward to the re-opening of businesses across the state; The Governor’s economic reopening taskforce has released the Phase 2 modified Food Service reopening guidance. The updated guidance is effective on June 15th, 2020.
Click on Stay at Home 2.0 to view the entire pdf.
As the City of Manchester and the State of New Hampshire look forward to the re-opening of businesses across the state, this is a great time to obtain free food safety training for your food service operation and employees. ServSafe is offering free registration to their ServSafe Food Handler training courses offered online through May 31st, 2020.