SL County Restaurants Ordered To Cease Dine-In Operations

Mar 16, 2020, 11:31 AM | Updated: 8:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake County Health Department has declared a public health emergency and issued an order for restaurants to cease dine-in operations.

The order was scheduled to go into effect at 11 p.m. Monday in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The order also said any worker at retail or service-oriented businesses who shows symptoms of respiratory illness or fever should not report to their work establishment.

“All retail and service-oriented businesses are required to implement social distancing measures and exclude symptomatic workers from working. Social distancing should include at least 6-feet between customers in the establishment,” read a statement issued by the Health Department.

Officials announced temporary changes to food service, food delivery and grocery stores.

Now that Utah has seen community transmission of COVID-19, it's time for everyone to practice "social distancing."…

Posted by Salt Lake County Health Department on Saturday, March 14, 2020

Although food service companies have been prohibited from dine-in services, they have not been asked to close.

“Takeout, curbside, pickup, drive-thru, delivery (including by third-party services), and mobile food (trucks/carts) are allowed with some modifications,” officials said in a statement.

Food delivery was still allowed for drop service only.

Dine-in operations have also been ordered to cease at grocery stores that offer those services. They have also been asked to eliminate areas where several people typically congregate.

Ginger Street at 324 South State Street in Salt Lake was just one of thousands of restaurants in the county closing their doors for dine-in.

“It will be tough to bounce back from when the doors are locked,” said owner Michael McHenry.

He said he owned several other restaurants, and business has already taken a significant hit.

“Most businesses in the restaurant industry, and especially in downtown Salt Lake City are seeing a decline in their restaurant revenue of at least 50 percent, and some are greater,” McHenry said.

“It’s definitely going to affect my income a lot,” said Ginger Street worker Emily Hyde.

Employees like Hyde have been worried about what will happen when they can’t make money. She said she understands and supports the closure, but it’s still a scary time for her and many, many others.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I have money saved up, but I don’t think it will be enough for how long this could actually go on,” Hyde said.

For several days, restaurants had already been adapting to massive changes brought on by the pandemic. This was just one more hurdle.

McHenry said there’s not much people can do, except support local businesses in any way they can.

“I encourage individuals to get out an support restaurants, take-out, catering, delivery, curbside,” he said.

Many restaurants were preparing to adapt to curbside delivery and take-out, but the latest order will definitely affect revenue.

Summit County issued a similar order Sunday, closing all bars and restaurants.

Both orders were expected to be in effect for at least the next 30 days.

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SL County Restaurants Ordered To Cease Dine-In Operations