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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

Health Director Ready To Consider Opening Businesses

Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau

The Summit County Health Department is working with businesses to ease into soft openings allowing for a phased return to work.

As KPCW reports, they need to hear from the business community by May 1-- how they’ll resume operations but maintain the essential social distancing and sanitization practices needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Guidelines will be provided in a Summit County Health Department press release on Thursday.

This week Summit County Public Health Director Rich Bullough will roll out guidelines allowing the resumption of some business operations on a monitored basis.

“Those aren’t a lot different than what we've already talked about, social distance, cleanliness, screening, assuring that there aren't large groups gathered, all of those kinds of things. But then there are other business sectors and organizations that are going to require additional creativity.”

Bullough is asking for business sectors and organizations to submit proposals to the health department which outline their best practices to make it safe to begin operations.

On April 20th the county council will be selecting representatives from different business sectors and organizations to help us craft this. We then want specific proposals from them by May 1st and we anticipate issuing a new joint public health order on May 15th that would incorporate some of these proposals.”

Bullough says the initiative is to move from the lockdown, urgent phase to a stabilization phase where businesses sectors begin to open in a stepwise manner.

“It’s not going to be business as usual and that’s why we're asking for some creativity, within the guide that there will be specific goals that need to be met. And then all of that information will be a template. All of that information will be available this week for individuals that are interested.”

Bullough says they’ve working with the chamber bureau and the county economic development team to identify business sector categories. Business is a top priority but not the only consideration.

“We’re not just focusing on businesses. There are a lot of organizations out there. They may be non-governmental organizations. They might be charitable organizations. We want to make sure that they have an opportunity as well to present proposals that would outline their operating procedures.”

In the most recent Coffee with Park City Council, Realtors were identified as essential businesses and have been allowed to continue operations. Bullough says some businesses were able to remain open. One example, he says, is they closed restaurant seating,  but not curbside pickup and they allowed drive through restaurants to stay open.

“In the case of realtors, we've received appeals from multiple business sectors and businesses to identify themselves as essential. Some of those have been permitted, some of those haven’t.  But it all focuses, everything focuses on whether or not that business or organization can function in a way that reduces the spread of COVID-19.”

Bullough says they won’t accept individual proposals from individual businesses.

“We’re looking at business sector. The Restaurant Association for example would get together and make proposals on how they could open, restaurant seating and dining and what would those constraints be? What standards might there be that would allow them to reduce the spread of COVID? So, we want to see these business sectors represented. We don't want individual restaurants for example coming to us and saying here's our proposal.”

Bullough hopes to have compiled business sector proposals by May 1. Stay tuned to KPCW for more details.  

Call the Summit county community Concerns Line at 435-333-0050 or go to summitcounty.org or summitcountyhealth.org to learn more. 


KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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