Davis County issues mandatory stay-at-home order

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Add Davis County to the growing number of areas in Utah that now have mandatory stay-at-home orders.

“This is a mandatory order emphasizing the importance of staying safe at home,” said Brian Hatch, executive director of the Davis County Health Department, as he announced it. “If enforcement is necessary, it will be handled with civility and respect.”

The order takes effect Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. It will be in effect through May 1 — a full month.

The order emphasizes the importance of staying safe at home, closes some businesses and requires others to more stringently follow social distancing recommendations.

Officials said the order includes:

• It directs all individuals to stay at home except to engage in essential activities, which includes going to work in industries deemed as necessary.

• It closes businesses that act as gathering places or involve close contact between people. Hatch said this includes amusement parks (Davis County is home to Lagoon), swimming pools, bowling alleys, theaters, concert halls, gyms, spas, hair salons and tattoo parlors, among others.

• It continues a ban on sit-in dining. Take out and delivery continues to be allowed.

• It closes children’s playgrounds and limits access to outdoor sports courts and fields to individuals and members of the same household.

• It asks residents who are outside to maintain 6 feet of separation from nonhousehold members. People should not congregate at trailheads or other outdoor spaces.

• It requires businesses to enforce social distancing practices and exclude ill employees from working; social distancing should include at least 6 feet between all people in the establishment; and workers symptomatic with respiratory illness or fever must not be present under any circumstances.

The order was issued as the number of Davis County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 has grown to 93, according to data released Wednesday by the Utah Department of Health. The county has reported two deaths from the illness, and 10 hospitalizations.

“The message we need people to hear is stay safe, stay home,” Hatch said. “These guidelines are known to be effective to flatten the outbreak curve, reduce the strain on hospitals and the healthcare system., and minimize the impact on medical resources for those with highest need.

Davis County Commission Chairwoman Lorene Kamalu urged compliance.

“Our success as a community depends on each individual and family limiting interaction to only what is essential,” she said. “The more residents comply with our public health order, the quicker we will see results, primarily a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases.”

While the new order lasts a month, Harris said the county will reevaluate after two weeks. However, “I want to side on the safe side, and not be sorry.”

He added, “We want the message to be that we want to just settle into this and as soon as we can get out of it, we will.”

He added that the order carries potential criminal penalties, but the county is focusing more on education.

“Our approach is to work with our businesses and people to educate them, help them and urge them to comply,” he said. “If we see issues that are repeats or egregious, then we do have that authority to enforce.”