GENERAL CONFERENCE

Downtown Salt Lake Empty During General Conference

Apr 4, 2020, 5:55 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The 190th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been like no other due to COVID-19 concerns.

Temple Square was empty as members of the Church stayed home to watch the digital-only transmissions on Saturday. Usually, officials said more than 100,000 people gather in downtown Salt Lake City during General Conference weekend.

“Something is different,” said Tami Schellenberg. “Something is changing and you can feel it, and also a feeling of gathering. Even though no one is here, everyone is tuning in.”

Those changes have come at a price for local businesses, who were trying to make the most of the situation.

“We have a lot of missionaries, returned missionaries from Venezuela that would come through here and that’s really awesome,” said Erick Pernia of Arempa Venezuelan Cuisine. “We’re not going to see that (this year).”

That lack of foot traffic added to the economic pinch downtown restaurants, hotels and stores are already experiencing.

“Regionally people from Idaho, Wyoming and Montana plan their regular shopping trips around these conference weekends and those are substantial days typically for those stores,” said Dee Brewer of Salt Lake’s Downtown Alliance.

But even so, businesses weren’t giving up. For example, Arempa’s was offering online orders and deliveries in between conference sessions.

“We’re not going to win by just sitting on our hands and waiting for it to end,” Pernia said. “It’s definitely been scary but we are trying to focus more on the positive side of things, learning what we can do to stay ahead of it.”


Coronavirus Resources

See the latest updates and case count numbers from the Utah Coronavirus Task Force here.

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 recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

General Conference

A Sacred Monument...
KSL TV

WATCH: Washington DC Temple — A Sacred Monument in a City of Monuments

Towering 288 feet above the skyline in Maryland, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Washington DC temple has been a landmark in the nation’s capital for nearly 50 years.
4 months ago
Follow @KSL5TV...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘Book of Mormon Videos: Behind the Scenes, Christ Visits the People of Nephi’

A behind-the-scenes look at Season Four of the “Book of Mormon Videos” where Jesus Christ visits the Americas.
4 months ago
Shawn Bradley: Strangely Grateful (KSL TV)...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘Shawn Bradley— Strangely Grateful’

Recently a bicycle accident left Shawn Bradley paralyzed. Confined to a wheelchair, his colossal size is a challenge without medical precedent.
4 months ago
Follow @KSL5TV...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘A More Perfect Union’

We are the United State of America but today our divisions seem to run deep. Many people from across the political spectrum believe the Constitution is in crisis.
4 months ago
Follow @KSL5TV...
KSL TV

WATCH: ‘I AM: The Journey’

Several performers and artist from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community unite to celebrate diversity, art, and the divinity in each of us.
4 months ago
...
Angie Denison and Madison Swenson, KSL TV

KSL TV special programming for October 2022 General Conference weekend

KSL TV has produced a weekend of special programming, including several original documentaries, for the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday and Sunday.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Downtown Salt Lake Empty During General Conference