Utah to move into 1st phase of reopening Friday

Coronavirus Updates

Grand County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Salt Lake City and West Valley City remain in the orange/moderate-risk phase, but as of May 16th the rest of the state will be moving to the yellow/low-risk phase.


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order Wednesday night formally putting the state of Utah under “moderate risk” protocols for COVID-19 beginning May 1 at midnight. The order kicks off the first part of the plan to reopen Utah.

“We aren’t returning to business as usual yet,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said. “In fact, we will not
return to ‘normal’ for a significant period of time. But Utahns’ diligence over the past month has
given us time to build our healthcare capacity and PPE stores. We can now cautiously relax some
requirements, and allow businesses that were closed to operate with safety measures in place. If
Utahns continue to exercise caution, we can continue flattening the curve and stay below our
hospital capacity, while resuming some normalcy in our business and social interactions.”

Earlier this month the governor released Utah Leads Together 2.0. The plan has four color-coded levels of risk.

Currently, Utah is in the red color or “high Risk” phase, but the move to “moderate risk” means Utahns are still encouraged to stay home as much as possible, but they may
“see small groups of family and friends who have been following recommendations on distancing
and hygiene.”

Related: Gov. Herbert signs bill into law establishing commission to reopen Utah’s economy

The governor was clear that there may be differences in various parts of Utah.

He said different regions should work with the state health dept. to expand or reverse the phase they are in. “This is not a one size fits all,” he said.

Here are the guidelines that will be in place Friday:

  • Stay 6 feet away from others when outside the home unless not possible
  • Face coverings worn in interactions that take place within a 6-foot distance
  • In-person interactions limited to individual households and those who have been following recommended distancing/hygiene guidelines; increase use of virtual interactions
  • Leave home infrequently
  • Limit out-of-state travel, quarantine 14 days upon return from high-risk areas
  • Social interactions in groups of 20 or fewer

During this phase carryout or delivery will still be encouraged. Dine-in services will be allowed under the following precautions:

Related: How will Utah’s in-person dining experience change under ‘soft’ reopening?

  • Limit tables to groups of 6, preferably members of the same household
  • Must maintain 6 feet between parties at all times. Either move tables or mark off tables not to be used
  • In waiting areas, a 6-foot distance must be maintained between parties, whether indoor or outdoor
  • Maintain signage to remind individuals from separate parties to stand at least 6 feet apart; waiting area has floor markers to indicate proper spacing
  • Hosts preferably open doors for customers and guide them to their seats to prevent traffic or congregating; hand sanitizer available at door
  • Upon entry, hosts point guests to signage that includes the following information:
    • Outlines symptoms10 and encourages that if the patron, or someone they live with, has experienced COVID-19 symptoms, to please order takeout instead
    • Recommendation for high-risk individuals11 to order takeout/delivery instead of dining in for the protection of that individual
  • Manager checks each employee for symptoms before every shift with temperatures taken and asks if any member of the employee’s household has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Log must be kept and available for inspection by the local health officer
  • Staff must wear face coverings at all times and perform hand hygiene between interactions with each table
  • Cups, lids, napkins and straws must be handed directly to customers by staff
  • Do not place utensils on table until patron is seated
  • Encourage contactless and non-signature payment; when not possible, card and payment stations must be sanitized after each use. Staff must sanitize hands between handling payment options and food/containers
  • Staff avoid touching items that have been placed on the table (menus, plates, utensils, pens, cups, etc.). The table will be cleared by a dedicated staff member once all guests have left
  • Dedicated staff member sanitizes the area occupied by customers upon departure including tables, menus, pens, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Consider use of disposable items if necessary
  • The restaurant may not operate if PPE, EPA-approved disinfectants and sanitizers, soap, and other necessary cleaning supplies are not available; sanitizer is effective against COVID-19. Chlorine (bleach) at 100-200 ppm is recommended
  • Hand sanitizer must be available immediately adjacent to bathrooms
  • Close restaurant for cleaning and disinfecting in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Cleaning and disinfecting includes all tables, chairs, door handles, floors, bathrooms, and any high-touch surfaces
  • Buffet and self-serve restaurants will provide utensils, cups, plates and other service items only from the counter where food is ordered. None of these items will be accessible to the public. Buffet style restaurants will provide servers who will serve the meals from buffet to limit exposure. Patrons will not be allowed within 6 feet of the food serving area
  • Stagger workstations so employees are not facing one another and are 6 feet apart
  • To-go boxes, pizza boxes, paper cups, and any other paper product that touches food must be treated as food
  • Staff must use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods (including ice). Gloves are not required when handling foods that have yet to be cooked
  • Playgrounds in restaurants remain closed

Gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to re-open if these guidelines are followed:

  • Employees must go through symptom checking before every shift, including temperature. Log must be kept and available for inspection by health department
  • Employees must wear face coverings; patrons encouraged to wear face coverings whenever possible
  • Limit the number of patrons in the facility at one time
  • 1 person per 100 square feet
  • Space or close off equipment so patrons maintain 10 feet of distance at all times
  • No team or group activities
  • Staff must disinfect all equipment after each use
  • No sign-in sheets, touchpads, or touch surfaces required for entry
  • High-risk individuals discouraged from using facilities at this time
  • Pools limited to 50% pool capacity, one swimmer per lane, congregating on the pool deck is not allowed

Personal service salons will also be allowed to open, with extreme guidelines.

Related: Salons in Utah will be able to open May 1, but with extreme restrictions

The governor reminds everyone to obey social distancing rules and stay vigilant with hygiene and cleaning.

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer often
  • Use masks

“We can control our destiny here by doing what we should be doing,” he said.

As part of the effort, the state has partnered with local businesses to supply every Utahbn with a mask. The program is called “A Mask For Every Utahn.” Click the link to learn how to get yours.

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