Summit County Manager Fisher On County And COVID-19 Concerns
Like everywhere else, the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus is a major concern for Summit County government.
County Manager Tom Fisher noted that the situation on the virus is always changing. That was evident again with an announcement just Tuesday morning of a second COVID-19 case in Utah.
“Each case is going to tell us a different story. And the public health folks are going to change their advice based on that. So we’re just waiting for the information just like everybody else is in order to see what we need to do.”
He said their job is to educate residents on prevention and give them some idea of what will happen if this strain of coronavirus comes to Summit County.
“And that goes for everything from talking to the school districts, to talking to private businesses, putting out best practices from how this has been dealt with over the last few months by other countries or other states, and even internally, how we’re talking about this with our employees, how we’re changing the way we clean our buildings, those types of things in order to prepare.”
We also asked Fisher if the county might have to cut back on services, or have their staff work remotely from home.
“It’s very difficult when you’re a service-based entity, in order to do that. Plus we have half to three-quarters of our work force is hourly. So a lot of complexities involved with a work force for anybody in how you deal with these situations. So I don’t think it’s anybody’s desire that we start curtailing operations of local governments. I don’t know what the threshold would be for that. But we are starting to talk about what the different scenarios would be, based on how wide-spread something becomes.”
Fisher said the reactions he’s hearing from the public run the spectrum.
“You hear those who say it’s way over-blown and we shouldn’t worry about it, to, we should prepare to being in our homes for 90 days without any contact. I don’t know where this is gonna go. I don’t think anybody does. I think the best thing that our Health Department is promoting is that, right now we don’t know. And we just need to stay up to date on what’s happening.”
Finally, we asked Fisher if the county would communicate with the public with some major gathering or Town Hall.
“Our Health Department has been out meeting with many different groups. And also, they’re a very small group of people, really those that deal with this directly within our Health Department are probably 5 or 6 people, including the Director and the Deputy Director. So we really have to rely on getting the information out to other folks in the community and allowing them to pass it on, dealing with their own organizations. That’s really the role of public health in this.”
Summit County Manager Tom Fisher.