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The State of Utah ordered restaurants to limit their offerings to take-out and drive-thru orders, in a bid to limit the Coronavirus Crisis. No more dining-in will be allowed in Utah restaurants for the foreseeable future.

Diners can enjoy take-out orders from any of our local restaurants. Or perhaps, take a drive to eat outdoors at a local park? Or dine in their cars…?

Here’s the actual order on all restaurants moving to take-out or delivery. There’s a lot here which may apply to many businesses, of all kinds.

STATE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER

WHEREAS, on March 6, 2020, Governor Gary R. Herbert issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19);

WHEREAS, the Governor’s Executive Order recognizes the need for state and local authorities, and the private sector to cooperate to slow the spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic;

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a national state of emergency based on the continuing spread of COVID-19;

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued guidelines to help protect Americans during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Based on the foregoing, in accordance with the authority vested in me as the Director of the Utah Department of Health by Utah Code §§ 26-1-10, 26-1-30, and 26-6-3, and being fully advised and finding that the factual basis and legal requirements have been established;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Joseph K. Miner, M.D., Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health, hereby order the following:

1. Restaurants, Bars, and Taverns. Effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 18, 2020, all food service, restaurants, self-serve buffets, salad bars, unpackaged self-serve food services, bars, taverns, nightclubs, private liquor clubs, and saloons in the state of Utah shall immediately close to members, guests, patrons, customers, and the general public. Notwithstanding the foregoing, food service may operate on a limited basis subject to the following operational restrictions and prohibitions:

– All dine-in food service, whether inside or outside the establishment, is prohibited; food service establishments may not admit members, guests, patrons, or customers inside the establishment except to pick up food for take out.

– Curbside take-out and drive-through food service (in addition to pickup service as noted above) is permitted. Where possible, online (e.g., Venmo, Squarecash, Google Pay, Apple Pay) and telephonic credit card transactions are strongly encouraged. Cash payments are strongly discouraged. Employees who handle cash or credit cards shall use cleansing measures between each transaction, including using any best practices issued by the Department. Employees who handle cash or credit cards may not participate in food preparation, handling, or delivery.

– Third party delivery service (e.g., Uber Eats and DoorDash) is permitted. Employees of such services shall avoid physical contact with any customer. Employees of such services may not engage in any delivery services if the employee presents any symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19. Employees of such services shall use cleansing measures between each transaction, including using any best practices issued by the Department.

– Management of food service establishments shall ensure, on a daily basis and at the beginning of each shift, that no employee who presents any symptom of illness consistent with COVID-19 will be permitted to work.

Due to the circumstances and the continuing spread of COVID-19, the Department shall immediately close all business activity at any establishment that violates any provision of this Order.

2. General Prohibitions. Effective immediately, the following prohibitions shall apply throughout the State:

– Gatherings of more than ten individuals are prohibited.

– Access to long-term care facilities shall be governed by the guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.

3. Recommendations for All Individuals. The Department recommends the following for all individuals:

– All individuals should refrain from visiting nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities, and retirement homes except to provide critical assistance.

– If a member of a household has tested positive for COVID-19, all members of the household should self-isolate.

– Individuals over the age of 60 and individuals who are immunocompromised should avoid contact with other individuals.

– All individuals should avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips (other than shopping for food and other essentials), and social visits.

4. Recommendations for All Businesses. The Department recommends the following for all businesses:

– All businesses should implement social distancing (maintaining a distance of at least six feet between individuals) measures in communal areas of the establishment.

– Employees who handle cash or credit cards should use cleansing measures between transactions, including using best practices issued by the Department. Cash transactions are discouraged but not prohibited. Where possible, online (e.g., Venmo, Squarecash, Google Pay, Apple Pay) and telephonic credit card transactions are strongly encouraged.

– Management should screen employees, on a daily basis and at the beginning of each shift, for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Employees who present symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should not be permitted to work at the physical premises of the business.

– Members, guests, patrons, or customers who present symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 should be excluded from the physical premises of the business.

5. Recommendation to Local Health Authorities. The Department recommends Local Health Authorities coordinate with local businesses and appropriate industry associations in establishing orders and recommendations that will govern food and beverage service providers and other businesses upon the termination of this Order.

6. Exceptions. The prohibition of gatherings of more than ten individuals does not apply to grocery stores. Grocery stores are encouraged to remain open to provide necessary food items and other goods.

7. Consistency. This Order shall not preempt any other county or local mandates so long as they are consistent with the purposes and objectives articulated herein.

8. Duration. This Order shall remain in effect through April 1, 2020, unless further extended. Made at 5:00 PM this 17th day of March, 2020.

Signed: Joseph K. Miner, M.D.

Utah Department of Health