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Columbia restaurant to use thermal cameras to measure temperature

929 Kitchen & Bar has installed a thermal camera to measure temperatures of people as they come inside.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Vista restaurant is toying with the idea of using a thermal camera to measure temperatures. 

Owner of the restaurant Sean Kim has installed a thermal camera that is able to capture the temperature of 8 people at a time as they walk through the front door.

“Government set very good rules like table distancing, disposable menus, paper products, wearing a mask," Kim says, "But still I would worry about people around the table. Waitress, hostess, bartenders right in front of the ice bin, chefs, cooks.. So I was thinking, how could I ease this concern.”

He tried two different cameras with this one working the most efficiently. He said he got the idea from South Korea after one was used to track down a man that spread coronavirus. 

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Kim says since they installed the camera, they’ve been checking all of their staff’s temperatures and they will most likely leave it for when they reopen fully.

“My concern is -- what on my side -- what I can do," Kim says, "At least, help the community. This is it -- I’m going to come up with something else, what I can do, before we reopen. I’m delaying my reopening to see what else we can do.”

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The restaurant is working closely with lawyers to ensure privacy rules are followed as well as informing the public adequately of the technology. 

The restaurant is currently only operating on to-go orders.