Wasatch County Preparing To Enter Stabilization Phase On Friday
Preparations to enter the stabilization phase on Friday means a lot of planning and answering questions for the Wasatch County Health Department.
In a Monday evening Wasatch County Council meeting, Wasatch County Health Department Director Randall Probst says while the state is moving to stabilization on Friday, the rate at which the county moves forward is dependent on resident's response.
“When we’re in close proximity in public settings and public places we should be wearing masks, we should be keeping the social distance, we should not be gathering in groups,” Probst continued. “We've got to do those things if we're going to be successful in continuing to move this forward as we open up in more and more of the businesses and that risk for exposure increases.”
Council member Mark Nelson pointed out that the Wasatch Back’s economy is very dependent on tourism, which means they expect a large impact from Friday’s order.
“We have 2.5 million people that live within an hour's drive of our county, they’re are all going bananas. When we open this up guess where they’re going to want to come,” Nelson asked? “Where they always want to come. They want to come to the Heber Valley to get clean air, and beautiful views and trails and lakes and all the things they do. They're all going to be coming up here as soon as we let them. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m saying that’s probably a good thing.”
In a special conference call with business owners on Wednesday Probst was asked if businesses were in their legal rights to check customers for symptoms. Probst says checking customers is a part of the order and business owners are protected by that.
"Certainly, we can't share that information and you can't share what they've told you with somebody else,” Probst said. "We’re only asking for symptoms and make sure their temperature and they’re not sick. Or that they’ve not been exposed, they've not got anybody at home that is positive, under quarantine. All we’re doing is making sure that they’re as healthy as they can to come in to use your service.”
Probst was also asked by business owners if there were any penalties such as loss of business license which could occur if an owner did not follow guidelines. Probst says that depends on whether the governor issues an order or declaration. He adds that there’s another bigger factor to consider.
“My guess is if you choose not to follow these guidelines, you're not going to have the public coming,” Probst explained. “They know the guidelines, and they’re going to be looking for it. So, our goal is to try and help you be ready for them. Whether he does it as an order or whether he doesn't, the guidelines that he’s promoting and pushing out everybody should follow.”
Businesses are not required to open on May 1st if they chose not to. Information about business operation requirements starting Friday can be found here.