CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Some Utah Venues Staying Open, Taking Preventive Virus Measures

Mar 13, 2020, 11:37 PM

LEHI, Utah — While coronavirus concerns have forced event cancellations and postponements across the state, many Utahns are finding ways to stay entertained.

With everything that has happened this week, it sure was nice to see people still having a good time.

There was plenty of laughing at Game Grid in Lehi Friday evening.

It seems board games are having a bit of a comeback.

“We’ve seen roughly about a 20% uptick in board game sales,” said Game Grid owner Jordan Bird. “Our rentals — normally we have maybe ten board games rented out over a weekend. This weekend, we’re already at thirty rented.”

With so many places closed or canceled because of coronavirus concerns, people are looking for other things to do to keep entertained.

“What else are we supposed to talk about? How’s school again, right? With a board game, it’s like, how dare you take over my territory,” Bird said with a laugh.

However, even at Game Grid, that escape still comes with a dose of reality.

Everyone coming in had their temperature checked to make sure they didn’t have a fever.

Game Grid visitors had their temperature checked before they could play.

“First event we’ve ever done this, so it’s all brand new to us,” Bird said.

Places that will remain open were taking similar precautions.

At Thanksgiving Point, workers wiped railings every 15 minutes.

Also, each building on campus gets deep-cleaned every night.

The Butterfly Biosphere at Thanksgiving Point is open, and crews are taking extra precautions to keep the area clean.

“We’re hoping that we create a safe environment,” said Josh Berndt, Thanksgiving Point communications director. “We want to create a safe haven in the community where you can come and be like, yeah, I do think I want to get out of the house for a minute.”

That’s how Michelle Naylor felt.

“We’ve always wanted to come here,” she said.

Naylor decided to see the new butterfly biosphere at Thanksgiving Point just because it was open and it was something to do with her children.

“So many things are closed,” she said. “It’s weird. It’s really weird. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Normally, the butterfly biosphere might see about 200 people come through the doors each day.

However, Berndt said about 400 people came in Friday.

“We are monitoring the number of people who come in and if there is a rush, we will have to limit it to keep groups down,” Berndt said.

In the meantime, there are many places are staying open.

Movie theaters like Megaplex and Brewvies are allowing people in, though limiting theaters to 75 people at a time and keeping people at least six feet away from each other in seats.

Also, all Utah ski resorts are open.

Crystal Hot Springs in Northern Utah will keep its pools open to customers and all of Utah’s state and national parks are open.

Those with concerns can stay home and watch movies, do a puzzle or play a good old-fashioned board game.

“At the end of the day, what board games represent is a way to get table time with your family, your friends, and your loved ones,” Bird said.


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What is COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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Some Utah Venues Staying Open, Taking Preventive Virus Measures