COVID-19-UTAH RESPONSE

Governor Gary Herbert emphasizes ‘shut down is not under consideration’

Jun 23, 2020, 5:13 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm
Utah’s economic recovery leading nation...
(The reflecting pool at next to the Utah State Capitol. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(The reflecting pool at next to the Utah State Capitol. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Gary Herbert repeats he is not considering another economic shutdown.  Some Utah lawmakers and local Utah business owners say they don’t believe the state’s economy would survive another economic shutdown.

As you walk into Tonkotsu Shabu Shabu Bar in West Valley, you’d notice things are fairly quiet.  The old owner sold the restaurant shortly after it reopened from the shutdown, and new owner Kevin Nguyen says business still hasn’t recovered.

“Sales have dropped.  It’s hard to get an estimate, but I want to say almost 50 percent,” he says.

Nguyen has already let staff members go.  He says profits are practically nil, and they’re only staying open so the public doesn’t forget about them.  If the state were to go through another economic shutdown, he doesn’t believe he’d survive.

“Small guys like us… our restaurant is family-owned.  It’s just me and my brother.  We only serve 26 people.  We’re not backed by a large corporation.  So, your local businesses are struggling the most,” according to Nguyen.

Governor Gary Herbert’s office issued another statement showing he’s still very concerned about the rising number of new daily cases, but, it also states, “The Governor has made it clear that a so-called ‘shut down’ is not under consideration at this time. Even under Utah’s ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ directive most of the economy was allowed to move forward with precaution.” 

However, the governor says he’s still going to champion the wearing of face masks, and State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn’s recently released memo about possibly moving the state into the moderate or “orange” risk level is one of many recommendations on the table.

Representative Paul Ray agrees that a shut down would cripple the already battered economy.  He says too many businesses had to close their doors forever because of the first one.  However, he also says state leaders need a better plan to move forward while taking steps to protect people from the virus.  For instance, he believes unemployment insurance should be extended to older people who are more susceptible to the disease, so they don’t have to go into an unhealthy environment.  Plus, he says people working low-income jobs may not have enough sick time to allow them to stay home.

Ray says, “The state needs to find a way to plug that hole to make sure that they don’t go to work sick.”

Ray doesn’t believe the governor should mandate face masks across the state.  Instead, he believes mandates should me more laser-focused.

“There are areas that just don’t need it.  I think you give that power to the local health departments and let them decide if their area needs to mandate it.  Texas has done that,” he says.

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19-Utah response

BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
2 months ago
Flags are ordered to be lowered...
Amie Schaeffer

Flags lowered to honor lives lost to COVID-19

In accordance with an order from President Biden, Gov. Cox authorized flags lowered through May 16. The order is meant to honor lives lost to the virus.
2 months ago
Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
Chandler Holt

Masks no longer required in national parks

Since a federal judge struck down the CDC's transportation mask mandate, guests in national parks can choose if they'd like to wear a mask or not.
2 months ago
Photo of two 'mask required' signs...
Associated Press

CDC to extend federal travel mask mandate

CDC to extend travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor uptick in COVID-19 cases.
3 months ago
Utah begings using wastewater to track components of the COVID-19 virus in communities...
Dan Bammes

Monitoring COVID-19 virus in Utah through wastewater

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is monitoring levels of the COVID-19 virus components in sewage at wastewater treatment plants across the state. While it’s a useful early warning system, Utah’s state epidemiologist says it’s just one of the tools they have for monitoring COVID-19 infections in the community. Last year, when the Delta variant showed […]
3 months ago
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
Paul Nelson

Federal health officials investigating Utah-based company over COVID-19 testing

A Utah-based company is being investigating for claims of substandard conditions at COVID-19 testing sites.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
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
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Governor Gary Herbert emphasizes ‘shut down is not under consideration’