Why this restaurant is checking customers' temperatures

If you're looking for a tasty meal, make sure you don't have a temperature higher than 99.8F — or you'll be turned away at the door by restaurant chain Sichuan Impression. A Los Angeles-based provider of Sichuanese cuisine, locals flock to this location for its unique specialties like Tender Bamboo Shoots in Chili Sauce, Hong Xing Diced Rabbit, or Smoked Pig Ear. 

As coronavirus continues to impact communities, this restaurant has decided to take the health of its staff and consumers very seriously. In addition to the standards set out by the California Department of Public Health, they're taking safety one step further and checking temperatures at the door. 

An elevated temperature, or fever, is a hallmark symptom of the novel coronavirus that is making people sick with a disease called COVID-19 worldwide. Other common symptoms listed by the Centers for Disease Control include a dry cough and shortness of breath. Since people may be able to transmit the virus before the cough begins, checking temperatures is considered an initial diagnostic tool, although it takes a specific test to confirm a coronavirus infection. Either way, you probably shouldn't be dining out with a fever of any sort!

Restaurants are taking coronavirus seriously

As of the morning of March 9, 2020, there are a total of 133 positive cases and one death in California, according to the state health department. The World Health Organization reports that in China itself, there have been over 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 3,000 deaths — and China is where the Sichuan Impression owner has family. "We have family in China, so we understand the importance of doing everything we can to protect both our customers and our workers," co-owner Kelly Xiao told the Orange County Register. "Everybody has a responsibility to do what they can do."

But it's not just customers who must go under the thermometer — the restaurant employees also get checked twice a day for health right now, and all of the furniture gets frequent and thorough cleaning along with the restaurant interior. In recent days much misunderstanding has occurred about the role of Chinese culture and people in the spread of this disease, but it's important to remember that viruses can and do infect all races and cultures. This restaurant leads the way in promoting restaurant safety in the face of this deadly virus, and it's possible others may follow suit as well as the spread of COVID-19 progresses.