CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah Governor Issues ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ Directive

Mar 27, 2020, 4:22 PM | Updated: 10:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Governor Gary Herbert has issued a directive for residents of the Beehive State to stay home and reduce the spread of the COVID-19.

The “Stay Safe. Stay Home” directive would be an “augmentation” to the state’s current guidelines, rather than a new order to remain home, and came just after the Utah Department of Health announced the second death related to the novel coronavirus.

“There’s no better place for you to be safe than in your own home,” he said.

Herbert previously released information about the state’s three phrases of response to the coronavirus pandemic: urgent, stabilization and recovery.

He said Utah needs to get the first phrase right. If residents take additional steps to flatten the spread of the virus, he said, the “urgent” phase could pass within a few weeks, rather than a few months.

Herbert asked Utahns to work from their homes if they can, self-isolate, practice social distancing, wash their hands, avoid touching their faces, frequently clean often-touched surfaces, and avoid handshakes.

He said “high risk” individuals over 60 years of age with underlying health issues should not be visiting friends and family or interact with other high-risk individuals, do not visit hospitals.

Families should not arrange for playdates for children at home from school, he said, and should avoid public playgrounds where the coronavirus could be spread.

“If you’re going to be outside, maintain a distance from another person of six feet at all times,” Herbert said. “Do not congregate at trailheads.”

Access to Utah State Parks will be made available only to those people who live within the county where the park is located.

Changes were also announced for Salt Lake City International Airport, making it more restrictive for people to pick-up and drop off travelers.

The governor said the legislature and banks would work to help companies get through tough times because of the virus.

“We are not closed for business,” he said.

Herbert said companies should avoid having groups of more than 10 people working in a small space, and find ways to avoid close face-to-face interactions.

Several of Utah’s neighboring states have issued stay-at-home orders, including Idaho, Colorado, Montana and California.

Summit County officials have already issued a stay-at-home order, and there have been calls for Gov. Herbert to do the same thing across the state.

Herbert said he issued the directive rather than a shelter-in-place order because he felt it was a better way to approach what was needed to keep people safe while allowing businesses to operate, albeit in a different way.

The directive has been planned for two weeks. If after that time, the data shows a continued increase in COVID-19 illnesses, he said the state would explore a more aggressive approach.


Coronavirus Resources

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 face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Utah Governor Issues ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ Directive