Summit County Issues Closure Of Restaurants and Some Businesses In Response To COVID-19

Mar 15, 2020

Summit County issued a public health order Sunday requiring the closure of restaurants, resorts, entertainment venues and other community gathering places, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Summit County Health Director Dr. Rich Bullough and Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson approved the order, effective Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m.

In a press release, Bullough pointed to recently confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Summit County, including one example of community spread of the virus. Additionally, Summit County’s nature as a resort destination, Bullough says, calls for increased precautions.

“The kinds of businesses and facilities identified represent those for which the risk of community transmission is higher due to groups of people gathering, the potential for contact with virus particles due to proximity, the exchange of cash and credit cards,” Bullough said. “Given the recent case of community transmission arising from a local restaurant and bar establishment, it is prudent to enact these regulations.”

Although the order calls for restaurants to close, Summit County officials say they recognize the need for residents to have access to food. As such, the order allows restaurants to operate curbside pickup and drive-through service.  

However, cash payments are strongly discouraged.   The ordinance says staff who take cash or credit-card payments must take cleansing measures between each transaction.    Cash or card handlers won’t be involved in the preparation or delivery of food.

Payment done on-line or by credit card over the phone is highly encouraged.

Employees will also be instructed to take food to the curbside and give the items to customers through the car window.

Restaurants have 48 hours to notify the county if they choose to participate in curbside service. Grocery and convenience stores will remain open.

The wide-ranging  closure order also includes coffee/tea shops, self-serve buffets or salad bars, country clubs, live-performance venues such as the Egyptian and Eccles stages, movie theaters such as the Redstone 8 and Holiday Village, and other gathering places such as museums, fitness studios and churches.    At hotels, the order includes communal sites such as  pools, hot tubs and spas.

The order also prohibits mass gatherings over 100 people--or if groups include individuals over 60, the limit will be 20 people.

Additionally, Park City Transit will transition to spring service levels, and the Summit County Health Department won’t approve any new special event permits.

The order is set to expire on April 16, 2020.