GOVERNMENT

Employers and state health workers brace for reopening of businesses in Utah

Apr 27, 2020, 6:58 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm
Salt Lake City Council budget...
Air quality experts are calling the coronavirus pandemic a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to study the impact of less cars on the road. So far, they say the positive influence is staggering. (PHOTO: KSL file)
(PHOTO: KSL file)

SALT LAKE CITY – After a long wait, state officials are gearing up to slowly start “reopening” the economy this weekend by relaxing some restrictions on businesses across Utah.

How can the state make sure this isn’t happening too fast, triggering a big surge of COVID-19 cases?

Michael McHenry owns three restaurants across the Wasatch Front.  He owns Ginger Street in Salt Lake City, Oak Wood Fire Kitchen in Draper, and Dirty Bird Fried Chxx in Provo. His crews are gearing up to reopen in-dine spaces, but, he’s waiting for final approval from state and county leaders. Plus, he needs to know what the exact conditions are for reopening.

“Those conditions continue to evolve, daily.  They have yet to land on a fixed set of conditions, at this point,” McHenry said.

Even if some restaurants across the state are allowed to resume limited in-house dining this weekend, McHenry doesn’t expect his restaurants to bring it back for a few weeks, or even months.

In the meantime, he completely revamping the floor plans of his restaurants. He has to completely remodel the kitchen of his place in Draper to make sure the staff can stay far enough apart from each other.

McHenry said, “the real work isn’t putting six feet [of space] between your dining room tables.  It’s creating social distancing inside of your operational functions.  That’s the big, heavy lift for restauranteurs, at this point.”

There are some guidelines we know, now.

“Tables will be spaced more than six feet apart.  We encourage outdoor dining.  Wait staff will be wearing masks,” according to state epidemiologist Angela Dunn.

The state has specific rules for each industry.  For example, hotels will be asked to serve their food in a take-out style, not with buffets like many do while they serve breakfast.  Theaters will be asked to keep ten feet of space between household groups.  Barbershops and nail salons are asked to check their employees for any potential symptoms of COVID-19 before their shifts begin.

The state will recommend gyms stay closed, but if they have to open, they’re being told to limit the number of people allowed inside at any one time.  The state advises only one person to be allowed per 100 feet.

However, Dunn said some things aren’t going to change this weekend.

“Our federal partners, especially the CDC, still recommend against non-essential domestic travel,” she said.

Dunn said she took part in the plan designed to restart the state’s economy to ensure public safety.  She believes the process is slow, but a prudent one.

They’re expecting another rise in COVID-19 patients when these new guidelines kick in, but, that largely depends on our behavior.

Dunn said, “We’re hopeful that individuals still maintain social distancing, when possible.”

 

RELATED LINKS

Health officials ready new guidelines as coronavirus restrictions ease

Salt Lake antique store says ‘we gave up’ amid pandemic impact

Managing fear of coronavirus

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 days ago
...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
2 days ago
mini-bottles Utah liquor store...
Elizabeth Weiler

“Mini-bottles” could return to Utah state liquor stores

Mini-bottles haven't been on Utah state liquor store shelves for more than two decades. A public hearing will be held on the proposal.
2 days ago
The Biden administration is preparing for the possibility of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, and Flor...
MJ Lee, CNN White House correspondent

Biden administration prepares for Abbott and DeSantis to send more migrants to Democratic cities

The Biden administration is readying for more migrants to be sent to Democratic cities.
2 days ago
Gov. Cox mental health...
Mark Jones

Utah National Guard to host 67th annual Governor’s Day

The 67th annual Governor's Day will be held Saturday by the Utah National Guard at Camp Williams.
3 days ago
design...
Samantha Herrera

Semifinalists for the new Utah flag design unveiled

The finalists for the new Utah state flag are on display at the Utah State Capitol, as well as in Logan and Cedar City through Oct. 5.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Employers and state health workers brace for reopening of businesses in Utah