Utah Governor, Gary Herbert, ordered Utahn’s to “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Friday afternoon as the Coronavirus Crisis escalated in Utah. It is the strongest warning yet that the crisis is worsening and everyone must take steps to isolate themselves and their families from other people.
The order is in effect immediately. It will remain in force to least April 13.
It is not a shelter-in-place order. Instead, the governor orders everyone to stay home as much as possible. Social distancing will be enforced in public. Public playgrounds and athletic facilities are closed.
So, while it may not change things for those of us who are already staying at home as much as possible, it is a strong message that those who have flaunted the warnings that they may be held accountable by law enforcement.
Doctors and scientists agree the only sure way to slow the spread of coronavirus is for people to stop interacting with one another. This way, we hope, medical facilities will not become overwhelmed, increasing the number of needless deaths.
Here is the full text of the Governor’s order:
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I would like to thank all Utahns who are already doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. These efforts are making an impact. It is time for us to do more.
I expect all Utah residents and businesses to follow these directives. They are necessary to keep Utah residents safe during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. They will certainly result in disruptions to our lives, and that cannot be avoided. Those disruptions are a critical part of keeping ourselves safe.
Following these directives now will avoid greater hardship later.
These directives establish minimum statewide standards. In consultation with the State, local authorities may impose more stringent directives and orders to address the unique situations in different areas of Utah.
These directives are not to be confused with a shelter-in-place order.
The following directives are in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2020.
Directives for Individuals
The following directives for individuals are effective immediately.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Work from home whenever possible.
- Encourage socializing by phone and video chats.
- Self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling or being exposed to an individual presenting symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19.
- Engage in appropriate social distancing, including:
- maintaining a 6-foot distance at all times from other individuals when in public;
- not shaking hands with other individuals;
- not visiting friends or family without urgent need;
- not attending any gathering of any number of people, except for members of the same household or residence.
- Follow strict hygiene standards, including:
- washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- using hand sanitizer frequently;
- avoiding touching your face;
- covering coughs or sneezes (e.g., into the sleeve or elbow, not hands);
- regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces (e.g., buttons, door handles, counters, light switches); and
- following any other standards promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Utah Department of Health, and applicable local health departments.
- Help others as reasonably appropriate to practice all the same principles.
“High-risk individual” means any individual who is age 60 or older, or any individual with a serious underlying medical condition.
Interactions with High-Risk Individuals
- Limit physical interactions with high-risk individuals.
- Limit visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and other residential care facilities.
Actions by High-Risk Individuals
- Limit travel to only essential travel, as defined below, including to perform work if you cannot telework.
- Limit visiting friends or family without urgent need.
- Limit physical interactions with other high-risk individuals, except for members of your household or residence.
- Limit recreational travel.
- Limit attending gatherings of any number of people outside your household or residence.
- Do not visit hospitals, nursing homes, or other residential care facilities.
- Do not attend school outside the home.
- Do not arrange or participate in in-person playdates or similar activities.
- Do not allow children on public playground equipment.
- Do not dine out except for carryout or delivery.
- Schools may send home food.
Time Spent Outside
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from another person at all times while outside.
- Exercise outside while maintaining 6-foot distance from another person and without touching common areas.
- Do not congregate at trailheads and other outdoor spaces.
- Do not travel to, or participate in activities at, any of the following locations:
- places of public amusement or public activity;
- public swimming pools; or
- gyms, and fitness centers.
- Limit travel only to essential travel.
- Essential travel means travel to:
- safely relocate by an individual whose home or residence is unsafe including individuals who have suffered or are at risk of domestic violence or for whom the safety, sanitation or essential operations of the home or residence cannot be maintained;
- care for a family member or friend in the same household or another household, including transporting family members or friends;
- transport a child according to existing parenting time schedules or other visitation schedules pertaining to a child in need of protective services;
- care for pets, including travel to a veterinarian;
- seek emergency services;
- obtain medications and medical services;
- donate blood;
- obtain food, including delivery or carry-out services, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and other grocery items, gasoline, supplies required to work from home, and products needed to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of homes and residences, businesses, and personally owned vehicles, including automobiles and bicycles;
- perform work if you cannot telework;
- engage in recreational and outdoor activities;
- laundromats and dry cleaners; and
- return to a home or place of residence.
Recreational and Outdoor Activities and Parks
- Remain at least six feet apart from individuals from other households while engaging in outdoor activities (e.g., walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting, or fishing).
- Do not congregate at trailheads, parks, or other outdoor spaces.
- Do not engage in close-contact or team sports.
- Do not go to or engage in activities at a state park located outside the county in which you reside (the availability of national parks will be determined in consultation with the National Park Service and the county in which the park is located).
Exemptions to Directives for Individuals
Individuals without a home who may move between emergency shelters, drop-in centers, and encampments. Otherwise, law-abiding residents of encampments under ten people should not be subject to disbandment by state or local government; however, individuals experiencing homelessness may be abated to maintain public health as per local health departments.
Directives for For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations
The following directives for for-profit and nonprofit organizations are effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 30, 2020.
- Respond in a flexible way to varying levels of disease transmission in the community and refine business response plans as needed.
- Consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in the workplace. This may include activities in one or more of the following areas:
- reducing transmission among employees and volunteers;
- maintaining healthy business operations; and
- maintaining a healthy work environment.
- Encourage and enable employees and volunteers to telework from home. Only employees or volunteers who perform work that cannot be done from their home should be exempted from teleworking.
- Utilize video conferencing and virtual meeting services.
- Implement policies for employees and volunteers who cannot telework, including:
- requiring employees and volunteers who present symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 to stay home;
- not requiring a positive COVID-19 test result or health care provider’s note for employees or volunteers who stay home due to illness;
- enhancing social distancing by grouping employees and volunteers into cohorts of no more than ten individuals that have limited contact with other cohorts in the workplace;
- enabling employees and volunteers to follow the directives for all individuals, as described above (e.g., by providing hand soap, hand sanitizer, or sanitizing wipes);
- minimizing face-to-face contact with high-risk employees and volunteers, or assigning work tasks to high-risk employees and volunteers that allow them to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other workers, customers and visitors, or to telework if possible; and
- implementing flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts).
- Assess essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on services or products offered.
- Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize existing customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
- Identify alternate supply chains for critical goods and services.
- Coordinate with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees or volunteers about the importance of sick employees and volunteers staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
- Coordinate with business partners about your response plans. Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
- Take measures to accommodate high-risk individuals in the workplace.
Exemptions to Directives for For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations
These directives do not apply to the following:
Health care professionals.
Law enforcement officers and first responders.
Faith leaders and workers, including an official, worker, or leader in a house of worship or other places of religious expression or fellowship, wherever their services may be needed. Faith leaders and workers also include a worker necessary to plan, record, and distribute online or broadcast content to community members.
Charitable and social services organizations, including workers supporting organizations that provide food, shelter, prescription delivery, mental health and substance abuse treatments, and other social services, as well as other necessities of life for individuals in need of such services, older adults who live alone, people with disabilities, and those who need assistance as a result of this emergency.