BLUFFDALE (ABC4 News) – The state’s 2nd most populous county, Utah County, has reported 236 cases of COVID-19, 15 patients hospitalized and two deaths but unlike neighboring Salt Lake County, has not issued a mandatory stay-at-home order.
We’ve often heard that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t respect county lines but Ralph Clegg, the Executive Director of the Utah County Health Department, says Utah County has a low rate of positive tests and so far no hotspots.
On Tuesday, ABC4 News asked him about the pros and cons of a countywide stay at home order as opposed to the governor’s statewide directive.
“Maybe that encourages a few more people to stay home,” Clegg said. “We feel like people are following the directive though which is that they should stay home unless that there’s an essential reason that they leave. The cons are that if you put something out as an order you have to have some kind of enforcement and that creates a difficulty.”
Many are taking the directive to stay home seriously but a few miles away at the Lehi Skate Park, city employee Brady Carlton led a six person crew on a gardening project.
“Yeah just pulling weeds, making sure everything looks nice,” Carlton said. “Getting ahead of all the weeds.”
Even though the park was closed, Tyler Jorgensen and two friends were there skateboarding to celebrate his 17th birthday.
“We just decided we’d do something small and go to the skatepark for my birthday instead of spending it inside,” he explained.
Asked how worried he was about coronavirus, Jorgensen replied, “I’m not very worried personally I guess. I mean I get that it’s a big thing but yeah, I’m not too worried.”
Director Clegg tells ABC4 that his department has discussions daily with local and state elected officials and that at this point all options remain on the table.