Wasatch County Issues Stay At Home Order
Wasatch County issued a Stay at Home order on Monday afternoon. The order comes as county officials note that COVID-19 cases in the county are doubling about every two to three days.
Wasatch County Health Department Director Randall Probst reports that the Stay at Home order comes in response to the amount of per capita cases in Wasatch County. Wasatch County was in the top 50 counties in the US for COVID-19 cases per capita last week. Only Summit County has more cases per capita in Utah.
“We're anticipating that in the next week or two, we could see some fairly significant increases in the number of cases,” Probst explained. “Through all the efforts we hope to actually change those models a little bit and make a difference.”
The order requires that all non-essential businesses and operations cease. Essential businesses include grocery stores, health care providers, automobile repairs and other businesses. An infographic of essential and nonessential businesses can be viewed above.
“The intent of the order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence, to the maximum extent possible,” Probst said. “While still enabling essential services to continue.”
The order says residents can only leave their house for limited activities while applying social distancing. Residents can still go to the store if needed but are encouraged to keep those visits minimal. Residents can do yardwork, go on walks and exercise, go on a leisurely drive, visit public lands, all while practicing social distancing. Playground and park equipment are closed.
Recreational visitors may not come into the county. Employees can go work in other counties, if your work is allowed in that county, though residents are encouraged to stay home if they can.
The order also asks if you have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, to stay home unless you need medical care!
“Please don't go out in the community if you're having any of those symptoms, please stay at home,” Probst continued. “If you need something from the store, then ask a neighbor or a friend. Ask them to maybe pick something up for you at the store, and then have them leave it at your doorstep. Don’t come out to them and don't have them come into your home, just to have them pick it up for you.”
If you can pay that person back electronically that is preferable. The county also encourages socialization and business be conducted by phone and computer. Wasatch County Council Chair Danny Goode assured the public that Wasatch County leaders are making their tough decisions based on good information.
“From the World Health Organization, from the CDC, from the White House task force, the state task force, from the governor, from the other communities and other elected leaders,” Goode explained. “As we're getting information from them, we've been in contact in Summit County. We thank Tom Fisher, the counter manager there for sharing some of their lessons learned from putting out their information. From Park City’s Mayor Andy Beerman I’ve been able to talk to him quite a bit early and I really appreciate that. We've also had contact from our senators, our representative John Curtis. We work together with the school district, the health department, the hospital, and the Sheriff's Office, EMS and fire, Salt Lake County. We’ve made this decision not lightly, because we know the impact it will have on our community but we also have balanced it with every piece of information that we're getting from health care, medical experts and disease control experts.”
This order remains in effect until April 14, unless amended or extended by subsequent order.
The county has issued a phone number to answer questions about the order. They ask that people please read the order before calling 435-657-3276
As of Monday afternoon, Wasatch County had 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, including its first case of a child under 17 years old. Four cases have been hospitalized, one in Wasatch County and the other three in Park City. Probst points out that’s in line with the 10% rate of hospitalization statewide. Probst also reported as of Friday, 12 of Wasatch County’s cases have recovered.