School-Related Extracurricular Activities Put On Hold, Private Businesses Stay Open

Nov 9, 2020, 9:37 PM | Updated: 10:14 pm
Office of the Governor of the State of Utah...
Office of the Governor of the State of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – During Gov. Gary Herbert’s announcement of the state’s new COVID-19 emergency health order, he said extracurricular activities were canceled for the next two weeks.

On Monday, he clarified part of the order, saying Utah children can still take part in activities like dance, gymnastics or karate, but there could be some changes.

After Herbert announced a 14-day “pause” on all extracurricular activities, Tennille Rigby’s heart sank.

“It’s really hard to try and decide what you’re going to do,” she said. “I’m like, do we shut down, do we not? We can’t go through this again.”

Rigby owns Fuzion Tumbling in Farmington. The governor’s announcement Sunday confused her and many others, but he clarified parts of the order Monday.

“Private businesses have to follow the protocol of social distancing of six feet, as well as wearing of a mask,” Herbert said during a news conference. “So if you have a commercial enterprise, any business, if you’ll follow those protocols, you can still continue to participate.”

That means places like dance studios, gyms and other businesses geared toward athletics can stay open, but they’ll have to maintain social distancing rules and wear masks.

“We already have had our students in masks. We are keeping our kids distanced as much as possible. Our lobbies are closed for mingling and we’re just having heightened cleaning,” said Amy Simkins, owner of Expressions Dance.

It won’t be a huge change for some studios. They were already strict about masks and distancing.

Some businesses will have a trickier time. For Rigby, it could be a safety issue.

“You have athletes that are doing extreme skills that could be life-threatening and if you need to catch them you need to be right there,” said Rigby.

Despite the two-week mandate, all the business owners KSL spoke to agreed on one thing — they must stay open, not only for them, but for the kids as well.

“Coaches are a huge impact on our kids, so they definitely need it and we need the kids too,” said Rigby.

“I think if everybody can do their part and take it seriously, then hopefully we can get back to what feels like more normal sooner than later,” said Simkins.

The big thing that is on hold for the next two weeks is school sports, except for high school football playoffs. All other sports are expected to resume in two weeks.

The governor said COVID-19 testing will become a key issue there, and state leaders were still working out those details.

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School-Related Extracurricular Activities Put On Hold, Private Businesses Stay Open