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Summit County issues stay-at-home order amid COVID-19 outbreak

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SALT LAKE CITY — Summit County issued a stay-at-home order on Wednesday, which goes into effect on Friday and lasts until at least May 1.

The order, which is the first of its kind in Utah, asks residents to stop nonessential travel and orders nonessential businesses to close.

Services deemed essential are:

Residents are barred from traveling unless they are doing an “essential activity,” which includes obtaining necessary supplies, working, or enjoying the outdoors while maintaining social distance.

  • Gas stations and auto-repair facilities
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Essential health care facilities
  • Newspapers and other media entities
  • Banks
  • Hardware stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, auto repair and other essential utilities and services
  • Farming
  • Post offices
  • Grocery and convenience stores
  • Restaurants whose services follow existing health orders
  • Essential transportation services

Residents are able to attend necessary or urgent medical appointments and go grocery shopping for essential items. They can still go outside, so long as social distancing is practiced. Outdoor recreational activities where social distancing is difficult should be avoided, officials advised.

Violations of the order are punishable as a class B misdemeanor in Summit County.

Gov. Gary Herbert's office was notified before the order was implemented and supports it.

“We were notified of Summit County’s decision this afternoon. Given the infection rate in that area of the state, we understand and support their decision to issue this order at this time,” said Anna Lehnardt, spokeswoman for the governor's office.

Visitors in the county are being asked to “leave as safely and quickly as possible,” and those who own second homes in the area are asked to stay away during the order.

As of Wednesday, the county had 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“This decision was not made lightly but is in the best interest of public health in Summit County,” county health director Dr. Rich Bullough said in a written statement. “When you look at the data, Summit County is a hotspot for COVID-19 statewide, nationally and globally. At this time, Summit County has 20-times the number of cases per capita as Salt Lake County. Our cases per capita rival those of the worst areas of New York City and many parts of Italy.”

Read the full order here

While the order is in place until May 1, after two weeks officials will reevaluate the situation and possibly end, extend or modify it.

Jobs essential to maintaining infrastructure are exempted from the order, including public works construction, residential and commercial construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems.

These services will be allowed to operate so long as workers adhere to social distancing guidelines implemented earlier this week by the county.

First responders, law enforcement and other emergency management personnel are also exempt from the order.

“The County Council asks all residents to comply with this order to the fullest,” Doug Clyde, Summit County Council chair said in a written statement. “You are the front line in this fight against COVID-19. We expect our hospitals to reach capacity and need the cooperation of every resident to ensure we do not overwhelm our local healthcare system. The actions of individuals will determine the course of this virus in our community.”

Those impacted by the order with questions can call the Summit County Community Concerns Line at 435-333-0050.

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Lauren Bennett is a reporter with who covers Utah’s religious community and the growing tech sector in the Beehive State.


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