Utah County Commissioner wants Utah open for business

Apr 9, 2020, 6:22 PM
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UTAH COUNTY – Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge thinks some businesses should be open for business despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Ainge tweeted Thursday about the high number of people filing for unemployment as a reason to reconsider whether some companies should reopen.

“For the sake of these 16M newly unemployed, their health, the loved ones who depend on them, and the millions more coming each week…We have to get back to work. Within 10 days we need an announcement of at least a partial reopening beginning in 30 days or less,” Ainge tweeted.

Long-term unemployment already hurting Utahns

The tweet got a lot of attention online, but Commissioner Ainge told KSL News Radio’s Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry that long term unemployment is already affecting people.

“That is a heavy, heavy burden, and the economic carnage of this is already adding up…I think that if we have some ideas of how we can get some people back to work safely and responsibly, we need to start as soon as possible,” Ainge said.

Commissioner Ainge says he supports social distancing guidelines but thinks now is the time to put plans in place.

“On one end of the spectrum, it’s those who’ve already had it, who’ve been tested…who can go back to work. That’s a relatively small pool. On the other end, there are a group of people who are at lower risk,” Ainge said.

Some businesses are ready to protect workers

And the Commissioner believes some businesses are already set up to protect workers.

“Not to mention all of the jobs that still can be done while still practicing social distancing. I think we can be creative, and I believe in incremental improvement, ” Ainge said.

Ainge also pointed out Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, President Trump, and former President Obama have all supported letting some businesses reopen soon.

Related reading:

Live Mic: Lifeline for Utah small businesses trying to stay afloat during pandemic

Scammers target immigrant and refugee businesses seeking COVID-19 aid

Utah seeks to help small businesses as it ramps up COVID-19 testing

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Utah County Commissioner wants Utah open for business