Southern Utah News Articles
COVID-19 Update May 1, 2020
The guidelines and restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 continue to evolve through the course of the pandemic. The general social distancing strategy has remained the same but specific guidelines and requirements have changed.
Below is a simplified listing of all the various restrictions and guidelines along with their current timelines. However, this should not be interpreted as a date that the guidelines and restrictions will have a definite termination date. Any restriction or recommendation remains subject to change but these are the respective dates as they currently stand unless extended or suspended.
Over the next few weeks, as the Country, our State, and our local communities implement and continue to develop plans for the short term and long term re-opening of the economy, these guidelines are likely change on a weekly or even daily basis. However, general guidelines for staying home if you are sick and maintaining good hygiene practices are not likely to change.
President Trump has issued federal guidelines to assist Governors across the nation as they look at loosening restrictions and slowly reopening more economic activity. These guidelines are called the “Opening Up America Again Guidelines.” The Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan as discussed below follows most of the guidance found in the federal guidelines. A full copy of the federal guidelines can be found here. A summary can be found here. However, to determine what is required you should not rely on these guidelines. You should rely on the plan issued by the Governor.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued updated recommendations regarding masks. Individuals who are required to engage in work or travel should now wear a cloth mask particularly in situations where social distancing is difficult. In our community this would specifically include trips to the grocery store. Medical grade N95 masks should still be reserved for medical providers. You can find more information on all federal guidelines here.
State Guidelines and Restrictions:
The State of Utah has issued a long term plan to address the pandemic called Utah Leads Together. The current version, Utah Leads Together 2.0 can be found here. The plan includes a three phased approach beginning with the Urgent phase, then moving to the Stabilization phase (May through October), and then to the Recovery phase. There are also color coded levels of risk with specific social distancing guidelines for individuals and businesses by industry. Red is for High Risk, Orange is for Moderate Risk, Yellow is for Low Risk and Green is for New Normal Risk. A complete copy of these Phased Guidelines can be found here.
The Governor issued an executive order declaring that as of May 1, the State of Utah has officially transitioned from Red to Orange and into the Stabilization Phase. This order is in effect until May 15. A summary of Orange guidelines for the General Public is set forth further below. All of these guidelines are legally enforceable under the law other than the requirement for the general public to wear face coverings. For the guidelines that apply to employers please review the Phased Guidelines for your specific industry. Under Orange the following industries are allowed to open with severe social distancing restrictions in place: restaurants and other food service industry; retail, grocery, pharmacy, and other convenience stores; hotels and other hospitality businesses; events, cultural arts and other entertainment including sporting events, rodeos, convention centers, movie theaters, museums, and libraries; personal service including barbers, cosmetologists, tanning, etc.; and home repair.
Summary of Orange Guidelines for the General Public:
• General public and employers take extreme precautions
• Face coverings worn in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain
• Follow strict hygiene standards, including:
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Use hand sanitizer frequently
• Avoid touching your face
• Cover coughs or sneezes (e.g. into a tissue, sleeve, or elbow; not hands)
• Regularly clean high-touch surfaces (e.g. door handles, counters, light switches, remote controls, restroom surfaces)
• Follow any other standards promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Utah Department of Health, and local health department
• Do not shake hands
• In-person interactions in decreased group sizes that enable all social distancing guidelines to be maintained; social interactions in groups of 20 or fewer
• Increase virtual interactions
• Leave home infrequently, stay 6 feet away from others when outside the home
• Regularly disinfect high-touch areas (e.g. door handles, buttons/switches, countertops, handrails, shopping carts, check-out counters, restroom surfaces)
• Give sick family members their own room if possible and keep the door closed
• Have only one family member care for the sick individual
• Schools closed
• Employees and volunteers of businesses operate remotely, unless not possible
• Employers evaluate workforce strategy, concerns, and enact strategies to minimize economic impact
• High-contact businesses can operate under strict protocols
• Restaurants are open for dine-in services with strict requirements
• Symptom checking in public and business interactions (checklist or verbal symptom checking)
• Design spaces to maintain 6-foot distance between individuals
• Limit out-of-state travel, quarantine 14 days upon return from high-risk areas as determined by the CDC, currently designated as most foreign countries but not domestic travel (this quarantine protocol does not apply to an individual who travels out of state pursuant to the individual’s regular and ordinary duties as an employee of a transportation business or entity)
An integral part of the guidelines and plans moving forward to reduce the spread of the disease is the implementation of wearing masks or face coverings. In general, any employee who interacts with customers or who cannot maintain six feet of distance from other individuals is required to wear a face covering. The general public is not required but is strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in any public setting. The State of Utah plans to make and distribute two million face coverings under the “A Mask for Every Utahn” program. Click here to order your mask.
COVID-19 testing capacity in Utah has expanded at the same time that demand for testing has dropped. The State Department of Health recommends that healthcare providers and testing sites test ALL individuals with fever or signs and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) for COVID-19, no matter how mild the symptoms may be. You can find the nearest testing center here. The Kane County Hospital is our local location for collecting samples that are then processed by ARUP. You should call the hospital first to determine if you should be tested and how to proceed with testing. 435-644-5811. Click here for more information from Kane County Hospital
Schools will remain under a soft closure with remote or home schooling through the end of the school year.
Governor Herbert has prohibited landlords from evicting tenants for lack of paying rent, if the tenant has lost their job or suffered loss of income due to the pandemic. This restriction does not forgive rent or any late fees but it prevents the eviction process from starting until May 15. A full copy of the order can be found here.
For other up to date information regarding the state of the pandemic in Utah please visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
All county facilities are closed to the public. Some offices are open by appointment only but most can assist you by email or over the phone. You may call (435)644-4900 or go to kane.utah.gov for information on accessing Kane County services. This restriction will be evaluated over the next few weeks.
The Kaneplex and Kanab Center will be open for events as long as the state phased guidelines can be followed and enforced by the event organizer. Plans for opening these facilities will be updated over the next few weeks.
For part time residents who are returning to a residence in the unincorporated county, if you have come from an area where there is an outbreak of COVID-19 you are encouraged to self-isolate at home for a minimum of fourteen days.
The City Office is closed to the public but available by phone at 435-644-2534 or online at kanab.utah.gov. The police station is closed to the public. If there is an emergency call 911 or if you need to speak to an officer call 435-644-5807. The Library is closed. The open space at the Jacob Hamblin Park and the Ranchos Park is open but the playgrounds are closed. The skate park, basketball court, and tennis courts are open.
Orderville town facilities are closed to the public but can be accessed over the phone at (435)648-2534 or online at www.townoforderville.com.
Glendale town facilities are closed the public but can be accessed over the phone at (435)648-2341 or online at http://www.welcometoglendaleut.com/.
Fredonia town facilities are on a soft closure. The Library, Senior Center and Town Office are closed to the public but are available by phone or email. Payments are still processed either on-line at www.fredoniaaz.net, by phone at 928-643-7241, or by dropping payments in the night depository. Phone calls are handled in the office as well. The Marshal’s Office is closed to the public, but can be reached by phone at 928-643-7241, in the event of an emergency, please call 911. The Library continues to handle incoming calls at 928-643-7137 and the Senior Center continues to deliver meals. You can reach the Senior Center at 928-643-7278. Public Works is continuing to handle daily tasks, while maintaining social distancing requirements. There has been no and will continue to be no interruption in services provided, barring any unforeseen acts of nature or circumstances beyond control of the department. Town facilities closed include the park playground equipment, pool and restroom facilities at the park. The open spaces at the park remain open, and shall remain open as long as social distancing requirements are maintained. Care & Share continues to operate, making sure residents who are in need are receiving food. They have modified the operation to a drive-thru contactless service, however it continues to run smoothly. A more complete listing of Fredonia and other Arizona restriction click here. Arizona State restrictions have been extended to May 15.
The federal government has closed Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and most portions of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area until further notice. The County Commission and other partners are working with Glen Canyon to open up the boat ramps at Lake Powell at least for local residents.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines and to adhere to standard safety precautions to prevent injuries while recreating on public lands.