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It’s Tuesday, April 14. We’ll provide the latest coronavirus updates involving Utah throughout the day.
[Read complete coronavirus coverage here.]
6:34 p.m.: Zions Bank president, CEO says federal aid reaching more small businesses
The head of Utah-based Zions Bank said Tuesday that federal aid meant to help Utah businesses cope with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic has begun to flow “at scale.”
Even as business owners continue to report problems in applying for emergency assistance under the $2.3 trillion federal stimulus, Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO, said the number of small businesses now receiving aid “is growing dramatically.”
“Banks and credit unions alike have a shared goal in this process to get the funds out in the marketplace and in the hands of businesses as quickly as possible,” he said in a Tuesday video conference. “That’s what it’s really all about.”
He acknowledged that initial weeks of the new U.S. Small Business Association program had been “choppy,” but Anderson said nearly 12,914 Utah firms had seen loans approved as of Monday under that part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act — with loans to the state now totaling nearly $2.6 billion.
And nationally, more than one million loans have been processed, the Zions CEO said, with all but a small portion the program’s nearly $349 billion in cash for small businesses now committed.
Anderson said he and others are now urging Congress to approve an additional $350 billion for the program “so that every business who needs the cash will get it.”
— Tony Semerad
4:08 p.m.: Utah banks, credit unions warn against scams
Officials representing Utah’s banks and credit unions continue to warn against a growing range of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement issued Tuesday, the Utah Credit Union Association and Utah Bankers Association said criminals are looking to exploit financial turmoil amid the crisis — and the groups offered these tips to avoid getting ripped off:
• Don’t share personal banking information with anyone — Government officials, and particularly the Internal Revenue Service, will not be in contact about the new government stimulus checks. Scammers, though, are reaching out to consumers by phone, text and email posing as government officers in hopes of tricking them into divulging sensitive information.
• Same goes for other personal details — Government authorities and the World Health Organization will never request items like your full name or numbers for Social Security, bank accounts, drivers licenses or passports in connection with COVID-19.
• Don’t get nailed in a loan scam — Contact your local bank or credit union if you’re thinking about borrowing money during the crisis. Don’t sign anything without reading the fine print — and watch out for hidden charges and fees.
• Avoid interacting with anything sent via an unsolicited email — The Utah groups report that so-called email phishing is on the rise, so never click on links or open attachments sent via email by someone you don’t know.
• Don’t fall for unsolicited contacts claiming to be from the U.S. Small Business Administration — Fraudsters are reportedly calling and texting business owners to say they could be eligible for bogus SBA grants for a small fee.
• Beware of get-rich schemes — Don’t fall for investment pitches related to a COVID-19 cure or a vaccine. (Neither exists so far.)
— Tony Semerad
3:55 p.m.: Park City fund raises more than $1 million to assist locals
Community organizers in Park City have raised more than $1 million for the city’s Community Response Fund to assist locals who are “suffering economic consequences from the coronavirus pandemic,” according to a release from Park City Community Foundation.
Summit County had some of the first cases of COVID-19 and continues to have a high number of cases per capita. Because it is also one of Utah’s premier tourist sites, shutting the county down to stop the spread of the virus has cost hundreds of locals their jobs at resorts and in the hospitality industry.
City leaders now predict, the release said, that “the lucrative summer tourist and ... local economy may not rebound until the [winter] holidays.”
The fund has provided grants to “trusted local health and human services nonprofits with extensive experience assisting gig economy workers, communities of color, and residents without health insurance, benefits or English language proficiency,” the release said.
Christian Center of Park City received grants totaling $225,000, which was available to any resident, and was able to help some 520 families pay their rents for April. Another grantee, Jewish Family Service of Utah, is “doing everything we can to help with rent, utilities, medication, and mental health services,” said director Ellen Silver.
The funds come from almost 300 donors, “with gifts that started at $15,” the release said. “Park City Community Foundation dedicated $50,000 from its operating reserves to the fund. The City Government of Park City also granted $50,000, Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust and Vail Resorts provided $200,000, and many donors offered matching grants.”
A million dollars is “a great milestone,” said Park City Community Foundation’s executive director, Katie Wright, “but we know that this amount will only help address some of the needs in the urgent phase of COVID-19, and that much more will be needed for the path to stabilization and recovery in the months to come.”
— Peggy Fletcher Stack
3:45 p.m.: Feds give $82.4 million COVID-19 grant to Salt Lake City International Airport
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it is flying in with $82.4 million in aid for Salt Lake City International Airport.
It comes from a $2.2 trillion relief package recently passed by Congress, which included $10 billion for airports affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The big grant will require no local match.
Officials at Salt Lake City International Airport said last week that passengers there are down by 91% compared to normal. They also figure that the airport will take two to three years to fully recover. Even by the end of June, they expect that passengers will still be down by 75%.
Airport officials are scrambling to deal with plummeting revenue as they plan to open a new $4.1 billion replacement airport in September. They said last week that with the federal grants and reserves built up over the years, they expect the airport to be fine in the near term.
The FAA also announced grants to 34 other airports in Utah, but they will receive minuscule amounts compared to Salt Lake City International.
The largest among the other grants include: $4.38 million to St. George Regional Airport; $1.42 million for Provo Municipal Airport; $1.08 million to Ogden-Hinckley Airport; $1.07 million to Cedar City Regional; $1.06 million to Canyonlands Field in Moab; and $1.04 million to Vernal Regional Airport. The smallest among the grants was $1,000 for Milford’s airfield.
— Lee Davidson
3 p.m.: Brio Tuscan Grille owners file for bankruptcy protection
The parent company of Brio Tuscan Grille — which has two Utah locations — has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is looking for a buyer, Nation's Restaurant News reports.
FoodFirst Global Restaurants, an Orlando-based casual-dining company, had been struggling for months before the coronavirus outbreak, and the pandemic escalated the company’s already precarious position, attorney R. Scott Shuker told the publication.
When jurisdictions across the U.S. began ordering dining room closures in late March, FoodFirst closed 71 of its 92 locations, including eateries at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City and Fashion Place in Murray.
FoodFirst also operates Bravo Cucina Italiana restaurants, but there are no locations of that brand in Utah.
— Kathy Stephenson
2:40 p.m.: Two Utahns allegedly cough on officers deliberately, in separate arrests
A 20-year-old woman is accused of claiming she has the coronavirus and coughing on deputies during an arrest Tuesday morning in Millard County.
Deputies were called to a home in Fillmore just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday after receiving a report about a fight there between family members, according to a probable cause statement.The woman’s brother told police that she had been biting and kicking him, hitting their mother and punching a clothes dryer.
Police said the fight started because the woman wanted a man to stay at the house. When deputies told the woman she was under arrest, she started yelling that she had the “COVID” and shouldn’t be arrested. Inside the police car, she allegedly told deputies, “I hope I have the COVID” and “appeared to intentionally cough” at the deputy, according to the probable cause statement.
A nurse took the woman’s temperature at at the Millard County jail, and determined she didn’t have a fever. She will be tested for COVID-19. Three deputies who responded to that call have been placed in quarantine because of possible exposure to the virus, the probable cause statement said.
The woman was booked into jail on suspicion of misdemeanor counts of domestic violence assault, assault on a police officer and interfering with an arresting officer.
Another man allegedly tried to infect a police officer with COVID-19 during an arrest in early April, according to a probable cause statement. West Jordan police stopped him on April 2 for jaywalking across 7800 South. As an officer searched him, the man allegedly said, “I might have the coronavirus,” pulled down the bandana covering his mouth and coughed in the officer’s face.
He was booked into jail on suspicion of threat of terrorism for allegedly coughing on the officer, in addition to misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and intoxication. Prosecutors haven’t filed charges in the case.
West Jordan police spokesman Sgt. J.C. Holt said Tuesday that the man wasn’t tested for coronavirus because he didn’t have any symptoms of having the illness. Holt said the officer also hasn’t shown any signs of infection and has been working.
Because of COVID-19, officers across the state have been taking precautions to limit their exposure to the public and the virus, including wearing personal protective equipment and handling calls over the phone, when possible.
— Paighten Harkins
2:30 p.m.: Steward Health Care doctors and nurses from Utah head to Massachusetts
The Steward Health Care network, operator of five Utah hospitals, announced Tuesday it is sending a team of 14 doctors and nurses to Massachusetts to help with what is expected to be a surge of COVID-19 patients there in the coming weeks.
The Utah medical personnel began departing Monday for the Boston area and will be deployed at Steward’s sister facilities for between two and four weeks, a spokeswoman said.
The announcement comes after Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday his state is expecting “a very difficult couple of weeks” as the viral outbreak there approaches its peak. The state is currently third highest in the U.S. for confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 26,867 diagnosed and 844 deaths as of Tuesday.
Brian Dunn, president of Steward Health Care’s western region, said in a statement that he was “very humbled” by the network’s employees and their “strong desire to provide care to those most in need.”
Steward regional spokeswoman Jodi DeJong said Tuesday the network would decide how long the team remains in Massachusetts based on medical needs there as well as emerging COVID-19 caseloads in Utah.
Experts now predict the Beehive State could see a surge in patients hospitalized for the virus sometime in May or June. Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare said Saturday it was sending two COVID-19 response teams of 50 physicians, respiratory specialists and nurses to New York for two weeks to help with COVID-19 patients treated by New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Northwell Health, both in the New York City area.
Steward Health Care is the largest for-profit, physician-led health care network in the U.S. and operates hospitals in nine states including Utah and Massachusetts. Its Utah facilities are Davis Hospital and Medical Center in Layton; Jordan Valley Medical Center in West Jordan and that center’s West Valley City medical campus; Mountain Point Medical Center in Lehi; and Salt Lake Regional Medical Center in Salt Lake City.
— Tony Semerad
2:05 p.m.: Utah’s minorities are being harder hit by COVID-19, state says
State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Tuesday that the state is concerned with the ethnic disparities shown in the coronavirus’ spread.
Some 28 percent of the cases in Utah are Hispanic or Latinx, a population that makes up only 14 percent of the state’s population, Dunn said.
The Utah Department of Health aims to help limit disparities in populations, “breaking down barriers that are preventing people from self-isolating and self-quarantining,” Dunn said.
— Sean P. Means
1:45 p.m.: Utah schools will not reopen this school year, Gov. Gary Herbert announces
Utah’s public and charter schools will stay physically closed through the rest of the school year, Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday. “This is not the time to have our schools back open,” Herbert said.
Herbert had first touted the initial “soft closure” of Utah’s public and charter schools, done to help stem the spread of the virus. At many schools, teachers and students have gone online for lessons.
“Even though we had a physical closure, learning continued,” Herbert said. “We appreciate that a lot of people are adapting and innovating.”
Going forward, said Syd Dickson, Utah’s superintendent of public schools, means dealing with “‘the new now’ rather than ‘the new normal’ — nothing is normal about this situation.”
She listed five areas of concern in schools: Feeding students in need, making sure learning continues, helping seniors graduate and transition into higher education and the work force, providing for the social and emotional needs of families and teachers, and making sure employees can still be employed and paid, including bus drivers and para-educators.
Dickson said students have been resilient, teachers have been creative, and parents have been flexible under the “soft closure” of schools. “We want to thank everybody who has leaned in to this ‘new now,’” she said.
As far as high school graduations, Dickson said, “our system leaders have already been planning on virtual graduations should this day occur,” and she said leaders hope students will contribute their ideas as well.
— Sean P. Means
1:10 p.m.: Another Utahn dies from COVID-19, raising state’s death toll to 19
Another Utahn has died from COVID-19, the Utah Department of Health reported Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll from the coronavirus to 19.
The state has confirmed 2,412 cases statewide, 49 more than the 2,363 reported Monday. As of Tuesday, that’s five days running where the number of new cases has been less than the day before.
Gov. Gary Herbert gave an optimistic look at Utah’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, speaking at Tuesday’s daily media briefing. “The battle is acute, but the numbers show that we’re winning,” Herbert said.
Later in the news conference, Herbert called for a “Manhattan Project”-level effort to find a vaccine for the coronavirus in six months, rather than the usual year to year and a half.
“We think we’ll have a little bit of a new normal for the next six months, until we find a vaccine,” he said.
The latest fatality from COVID-19 in Utah is a Utah County resident, an older adult under 60 with pre-existing immunity problems, who died in a hospital, state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Tuesday. The state’s mortality rate from COVID-19, at 0.8%, is lower than in many states, Herbert said, but “we want to do better than we’re doing now.”
Tuesday’s report shows 213 people have been hospitalized, 12 more than the 201 on the state’s tally Monday.
Salt Lake County reported 30 new cases, raising its total cases to 1,187 — nearly half the state’s total. The county has 108 hospitalizations, well over half the statewide tally.
And as of Tuesday, 46,476 people in Utah have been tested for the coronavirus. That’s only 689 more than the 45,787 that UDOH reported on Monday. The state’s daily capacity for testing is between 3,500 and 4,000, state health officials have maintained — though Herbert had once set a goal of 7,000 a day.
Testing counts have dropped in the last few days, Dunn said. The state is working with health care companies to make sure everyone can get testing. The data UDOH uses to track the disease relies on a good test sample, so “we want to make sure we have confidence these are as accurate as possible,” Dunn said.
Herbert on Tuesday touted the work of the National Governors’ Association “to discuss what we need, as states, to help us.” The governors meet by conference call weekly, Herbert said — and have an online meeting with the White House every other week.
The Utah Legislature will conduct a special session soon, Herbert said, to figure out how to budget the federal money coming into the state because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Herbert reacted cautiously to a report that the Legislature will consider a bill that would limit the governor’s powers in an emergency — and require more consultation with legislative leaders. The Legislature’s job is to pass laws and set budgets, Herbert said. “My job is to execute, and some of those powers given to the executive branch, we have to execute in a hurry.”
Herbert was reticent to weigh into the controversy about whether President Donald Trump has the authority to restart the American economy on his own, or whether that power is held at the state level.
“We have a responsibility as the United States of America, as sovereign states, to provide our own answers,” Herbert said, “but it’s a partnership” between the states and the federal government.
— Sean P. Means
12:20 p.m.: Intermountain spells out plans if ICU beds get maxed out
Despite a recent lull in new coronavirus diagnoses in Utah, the need for ventilators and intensive care unit beds at Intermountain Healthcare facilities could exceed its hospitals' capacity, the system's chief operating officer warned Tuesday.
“If we do hit the surge [of Intermountain patients] at the peak of what could be coming, we would exceed the hospitals’ capacities — but the community has avenues as well in place that we hope will meet those needs,” Intermountain Chief Operating Officer Rob Allen said in a news conference Tuesday. “But at this point ... it’s all projections.”
Models show the need for intensive care resources would exceed the hospital system's existing capacity, Allen said, even as Intermountain unveiled plans Tuesday to ratchet up that capacity, converting regular hospital beds to ICU beds by redirecting equipment and staff that typically work elsewhere.
In a news release Tuesday, Intermountain said it also was prepared to:
- Temporarily convert entire units typically used for other medical and surgical purposes into units for the most severe COVID-19 patients, while directing less-severe cases to community hospital ICUs.
- Dedicate The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) in Murray as a “relief-valve facility” for patients who don’t have COVID-19.
- Move children and young adults from the pediatric units at various Intermountain facilities to Primary Children’s Hospital, freeing up the other hospitals’ pediatric units for COVID-19 patients.
- Convert some clinic rooms to inpatient care rooms.
- Redeploy health care workers and support teams.
“For example, Intermountain is redeploying 200 clinic-based medical assistants who’ve been retrained to provide care in hospitals. Anesthesiologists are transitioning from surgery support to helping treat COVID-19 patients needing respiratory care in ICUs,” the news release said. “Plans include potentially activating clinicians who are in administrative roles or have recently retired, and partnering with local nursing schools to hire nurses in their senior year.”
— Erin Alberty
Noon: Shift away from cash hurting some low-income Utahns
City and county mandates discouraging cash transactions are creating a new challenge for low-income Utahns, many of whom don’t have a bank account.
“Not everybody actually has a plastic alternative payment form,” said Glenn Bailey, executive director of Crossroads Urban Center. “That also would probably directly affect homeless people who tend to be pretty hand to mouth.”
Crossroads Urban Center is keeping one of its food pantries open and is serving a high volume of homeless people. Bailey said these Utahns still have access to food service through St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall but are not allowed to come in and get a hot meal due to social distancing.
“We’re certainly feeding a lot of people who are living on the street,” Bailey said. “And then we’ve also seen more families that we’ve never had to serve before because they have recently lost a job and are trying to get through until they get some kind of income.”
The Salt Lake County Health Department’s website says cash transactions are still allowed as long as people keep 6 feet from one another and cashiers wash their hands between transactions. The website emphasizes that any employee who handles cash “may not handle food or food containers in any way.”
The health department recommends, however, handling payments remotely either through an app or over the phone. Spokesman Nicholas Rupp said the department isn’t prohibiting cash transactions because this is the only form of payment some people have.
Cade Meier, deputy director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said state liquor stores are also taking cash.
Meier said the DABC would “love for people to all use cards, of course, or tap-and-go and we’re looking at other options for Apple Pay and those type of items” but “there are people where [cash] is all they have.”
He said that, typically, about 60% of business transactions in Utah’s liquor stores are cards and 40% are cash. Recently, however, less cash is being used.
Meier said liquor stores are trying to follow Gov. Gary Herbert’s mandate, which declared them an essential business and asked them to stay open during the COVID-19 outbreak.
He said liquor stores are making a big effort to keep customers safe amid the coronavirus by using gloves, hand sanitizer and taking precautions.
“We all want to stop the disease anyway we can,” said Meier, “but, at this time, we are trying to remain open and do so in a safe manner.”
— Zoi Walker
11:45 a.m.: Mobile testing arrives in hard-hit Navajo Nation
As the Navajo Nation continues to reel from one of the highest per capita coronavirus outbreaks in the country, the Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS) and the Utah Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory brought mobile testing units to southern San Juan County this week.
The mobile testing task force was available at the UNHS Navajo Mountain clinic on Monday and Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday, it will be stationed at the Monument Valley clinic.
“The team will offer COVID-19 testing to anyone who self-attests to have symptoms, anyone who might be high risk or anyone who has had close contact with a confirmed case,” San Juan Public Health said in a statement. “Tests are free and open to everyone regardless of statehood or tribal affiliation.”
As of Monday, the reservation — which overlaps with Utah, Arizona and New Mexico — had 813 confirmed cases of the virus and 28 deaths.
Utah, by contrast, had 18 confirmed deaths despite having a population 20 times larger than the Navajo Nation. (At least two Utah deaths have likely been miscounted in Arizona, however, due to a lack of street addresses in some parts of the Navajo Nation.)
There are confirmed cases in both the Navajo Mountain and Monument Valley areas, with an epicenter of the outbreak in northern Arizona near Kayenta. The Navajo Nation has issued a nightly curfew and other restrictions in an attempt to slow transmission of the virus.
According to San Juan Public Health, when the mobile testing units leave at week’s end, “local providers will continue testing but only for those patients who show serious symptoms and who are at high risk.”
The department’s director, Kirk Benge, warned the mobile testing may lead to a sudden uptick and confirmed cases in the county, which as of Tuesday stood at nine.
“We want the public to understand that, over the next few days, we expect the number of confirmed cases in the county to increase rapidly,” Benge said. “The count of confirmed cases will be driven primarily as a result of improved testing and case identification, not as a result of the further recent spread of the virus.”
— Zak Podmore
11:35 a.m.: $1,200 check from feds won’t cover month’s mortgage for most Salt Lake City residents, but it will pay for most rents
Fewer than half of Salt Lake City’s homeowners could afford to pay their monthly mortgage and utility bill with the $1,200 check coming their way under the new federal stimulus package, a new study has found.
In contrast, more than three-quarters of renters in Utah’s capital city could cover a month’s rent and utilities with the new COVID-19 payment under the CARES Act now showing up in their mailboxes and bank accounts, the Redfin study suggests.
The analysis by the Seattle-based online real estate brokerage and research firm ranked Salt Lake City 27th among the top 50 U.S metropolitan areas for how far those stimulus checks would go for homeowners and 28th for what they’d do for renters.
The picture improved, of course, with scenarios in which two members of households received a $1,200 stimulus check, with 87% of Salt Lake City’s mortgage holders and 99% of renter households then being able to cover one month’s housing and utility bills.
The analysis found nearly two-thirds of homeowners in top-ranked Indianapolis, Louisville, Ky., and Birmingham, Ala., could afford those monthly costs with their government stipend, as opposed to 11% in New York City, 8% in San Francisco and 6% in San Jose.
The Redfin study analysis did not take into account the additional $500 payments that parents are supposed to receive under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for each dependent child.
— Tony Semerad
11:05 a.m.: Red Cross gets a ‘lucky’ blood donation from North Logan company
Employees at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in North Logan donated 36 pints of blood Monday.
It’s a “lucky” number because it brings the company’s 12-year blood donation total to 777 pints, according to Stephanie Halton, SDL’s corporate conference and events administrator.
Last month, after hearing that the American Red Cross was facing a severe shortage in blood because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company organized the drive, its 30th since 1998, Halton said. “Our employees recognized an opportunity to do their part to help the community in which they work and live.”
Blood drives at businesses, schools and universities — most of which have closed or cut back public access — have been canceled across the country, leaving the supply at one of its lowest levels since World War II, the Red Cross said.
To give blood, go to the Red Cross website, redcrossblood.org. Type in your ZIP code, and find a blood drive near you.
Red Cross donation sites also are open in Murray, Ogden, Provo and St. George. Make an appointment first. This cuts down on waiting time and allows donors to fill out the prescreening questionnaire ahead of time.
You must be healthy and feeling well to donate. You will have your temperature taken before donating.
Donating blood is safe, officials say, and there is no evidence that this novel coronavirus can be transmitted through blood transfusions.
— Kathy Stephenson
11 a.m.: Pride Center to give away food
The Utah Pride Center will distribute food to the public Thursday and Saturday.
“The food is shelf stable, free and available to anyone. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing hunger or food insecurity, please come and pick up some food," according to a Facebook post from the Salt Lake City center. “You are welcome to pick up food for a friend or loved one; it does not need to be for yourself.”
Food will be distributed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day at 1380 S. Main St.
People are asked to stay in their vehicles while volunteers place food in trunks.
— Becky Jacobs
10:50 a.m.: $450K donation to help get protective equipment to medical workers
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation announced two donations totaling $450,000 to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Intermountain Healthcare will receive $200,000 to help buy personal protective equipment for first responders and medical workers.
The remaining $250,000 will go to Days for Girls International, a nonprofit that helps girls and women around the world through sustainable menstrual care and health education. The nonprofit started a Masks4Millions campaign to sew fabric masks and donate them to health care workers.
— Paighten Harkins
10:35 a.m.: Salt Lake County sets up drop-off sites for masks
Salt Lake County is setting up donation stations to get cloth masks in the hands of folks who don’t have them.
The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended everyone wear some kind of face covering when in public and as the county tries to “alleviate pressure from the supply chain,” according to a tweet.
People with handmade masks can donate them at the following locations:
• Copperview Recreation Center, 8446 S. Harrison St., Midvale.
• Dimple Dell Recreation Center, 10670 S. 1000 East, Sandy.
• County Government Center, 2001 S. State St., Salt Lake City.
• Herriman Library, 5380 W. Main St.
• Magna Library, 2675 S. 8950 West.
• Millcreek Library, 2266 E. Evergreen Ave.
• West Jordan Library, 8030 S. 1825 West.
The masks should be made of clean, washed fabric and meet CDC guidelines.
The county asks that people drop off the masks when out for other essential trips, like going to the grocery store or getting medication.
Those unable to leave home can email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a pickup.
— Paighten Harkins
8:30 a.m.: Gyms opening in northern Utah
The new rules, which took effect Monday and run through May 1, allow gyms and fitness centers to open under strict regulations:
• Employees must be free of COVID-19 symptoms and checked daily.
• Patrons must be screened before entering.
• Only one customer is allowed for every 100 square feet of space.
• No team or group activities.
• Locker rooms and shower areas must be closed.
• All equipment must be disinfected after each use.
The new rules recommend, but do not make mandatory, that people over age 60 or who are immunocompromised not use the facility, and that everyone wear face masks.
The Bear River Health Department’s jurisdiction covers Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties.
Some gyms jumped at the chance to reopen. Sports Academy and Racquet Club in North Logan announced its reopening on the center’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Results Gym in Tremonton announced on its Facebook page that it would reopen Wednesday.
Others — like Planet Fitness in Logan, part of a national chain — are remaining closed.
Not everyone in northern Utah is thrilled with the move. On Sports Academy’s Instagram post, people left such comments as “very disappointing,” “Y’all should be embarrassed!!,” and “Do the right thing and stay home!”
According to the Utah Department of Health’s latest statistics, as of Monday there were 49 cases of COVID-19 and eight people hospitalized for it in the three counties covered by the Bear River Health Department.
Stay-at-home orders issued by health departments in Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele and Weber counties list gyms and fitness centers among the businesses that must remain closed.
— Sean P. Means