Without a statewide order mandating Utahns stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, local health departments are left to determine what directives to give the people they serve.
Different directives might make sense for the less-populated areas of Utah, although state and local officials who favor a statewide "stay at home" directive have pointed out that rural areas still rely on critical medical care from the state's metropolitan areas.
Here is an idea of what your health department says you should do, based on where you live.
Salt Lake County
Starting last weekend, all residents of Salt Lake County were ordered to stay at home except for essential services like food, medicine, and medical care.
As part of the directive, the county prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people who do not live together, and put in place strict guidelines for food service establishments to stay open.
Many other types of businesses, including salons, gyms, and entertainment venues, were ordered to close.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said she and her officers were prepared to enforce the public health order. Those who violate it could be charged with a misdemeanor.
You can read the full order here.
- Residents ordered to remain home except for "essential" services
- Strict rules for restaurants to continue to operate
- Salons, spas, gyms, and entertainment venues ordered to close
- Strict guidelines for behavior at public parks and trail heads
Read more about the Davis County Health Department's order here.
The Utah County Health Department orders the following individuals to self-isolate/self-quarantine:
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to an individual who tests positive.
- Anyone who lives with someone who contracted the virus.
Restaurants in Utah County are ordered to comply with similar recommendations to other counties with public health orders (no dine-in service, customers only allowed inside the order, pick up, or pay for food, social distancing guidelines to be followed)
The health department recommends residents avoid entertainment centers, salons, gyms, and the like, but does not explicitly order the closure of those establishments. It also advises residents not to go out in public in large groups, including groups of family members.
Read more here.
Weber County / Morgan County
The Weber-Morgan Health Department's public health order for residents of both counties is similar to those in Salt Lake, Davis, and Summit County. According to the health order:
"All individuals are directed to 'Stay Safe, Stay Home,' except to engage in essential activities."
Those who leave their homes for an essential activity are ordered to follow strict hygiene standards and maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and anyone who is not a member of their household.
The order is in effect until April 16, "unless adjusted or further extended." Read the full order here.
Summit County's health department was one of the first in the state to announce a stay-at-home order for residents. Health officials expressed concern about the number of coronavirus patients per capita in the county, which was a similar ratio to the number of patients in parts of the country hit hardest by the virus.
The health department's order mandates that residents stay home except for essential services.
It also includes a provision that people who are not full-time residents of the county avoid traveling there during the coronavirus pandemic.
The health order is to be re-evaluated by April 8, but will likely remain in effect until at least May 1. Read more here.
Similar to Summit County, Wasatch County public health officials ordered that residents stay home except for essential services. People who do not live in the county were ordered not to travel there for recreation or tourism, and non-residents staying in the county were ordered to leave by April 1.
Wasatch County's order also includes some of the strictest rules for convenience stores among any health department, prohibiting the sale of hot food and restricting self-service items to drinks only, with proper sanitation.
The order remains in effect until April 14, "unless amended or extended." Read the full order here.
Box Elder, Cache, and Rich County (all served by the Bear River Health Department)
The Bear River Health Department's public health order upholds the directives made by Governor Gary Herbert and the Utah Department of Health. That order limits the operation of food service establishments and recommends that individuals avoid certain businesses and services. It recommends businesses implement "best practices" for mitigating the spread of coronavirus, including screening employees for symptoms of COVID-19 before they work and limiting hand-to-hand transactions. The order states:
"The purpose of this Order is to protect individuals’ health and not to hold them criminally liable."
Bear River health officials do not specify a date when the health order expires or is to be re-evaluated. Read the order here.
Health officials in Tooele County mandated food service practices nearly identical to those recommended by the Davis County Health Department. Salons, spas, and all entertainment venues were ordered to close. Businesses were ordered to immediately implement policies to reduce gatherings and discourage forming lines within the business.
Tooele County's order remains in effect until April 30, "unless further extended." More information here.
Juab, Millard, Sanpete Sevier, Piute, and Wayne County (Central Utah Health Department)
Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited except for critical or essential services (first responders, hospitals, shelters, licensed care providers, grocery stores and "stores that sell other commodities," gas stations, convenience stores, construction work sites, and "the shipping, transportation, and airline industry").
Dine-in service is prohibited at restaurants, but take-out, delivery, drive-thru, and curbside pickup are still allowed. Businesses were ordered to follow the best practices outline by the state's public health order.
Businesses were ordered to ensure that no one with symptoms of COVID-19 comes to the workplace, and to encourage working remotely if at all possible.
All individuals were recommended to:
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid discretionary or non-essential travel and social visits
- Those who are over the age of 60 or are immunocompromised should limit contact with others.
The order will be re-evaluated on April 9 but will remain in effect until at least April 23. You can read the full order here.
Washington, Beaver, Iron, Garfield, and Kane County (Southwest Utah Public Health Department)
The Southwest Utah Public Health Department recommends all residents follow the state's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive, but has not issued its own public health order with specific guidelines. Read more here.
Carbon, Emery, and Grand County (Southeast Utah Health Department)
- Restaurants allowed to operate on a restricted basis (similar to what is allowed in other counties).
- Theaters and entertainment venues ordered to close.
- Strict rules for camping and overnight lodging designed to prohibit those who do not live in a county from camping or staying there. All hotels and camp sites can only allow "essential visitors" or people who live within the same county to stay there. An "essential visitor" is anyone who is in the county to work for less than 30 days. Out-of-state travelers who aren't aware of the restrictions or who have vehicle problems may be allowed to stay at a hotel or campsite for one night.
- All public gathering places, salons and spas, and fitness centers were ordered to close.
- Businesses cannot allow employees with symptoms of COVID-19 to work and implement social distancing practices.
- Strict rules for construction workers.
The health department also asks that anyone in its jurisdiction — which includes many of Utah's most popular state and national parks — who is not there on "essential" business to leave.
If not renewed, the order will expire on April 15. Read the full order here.
Uintah, Dagget, and Duchesne County (TriCounty Health Department)
- Reaffirms the state's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive.
- Enacts similar restrictions for restaurants, but allows orders to be taken inside a restaurant (unlike in other counties, where the orders are supposed to be placed online)
- Entertainment venues, public gathering places, spas, salons, gyms, and schools ordered to close
- State parks closed to any person who doesn't live in the county where the state park is located.
The order does not apply to faith leaders, charities, health care providers, first responders, public works and utility employees, and individuals without a home.
The TriCounty Health Department does include specifications on potential consequences for violating the order, which is set to expire on April 30. Read the full order here.
San Juan County
San Juan County does not appear to have enacted a specific public health order in response to coronavirus.
The statewide public health order from the Utah Department of Health can be found here.