FARMINGTON — Davis County expanded its COVID-19 public health order on Wednesday, ordering all county residents to stay home.
County officials also extended the order another month, through May 1.
“Because it is an order, under statute, it does come with penalties that can be enforced,” Brian Hatch, executive director of the Davis County Health Department, said at a county press conference Wednesday. “Our approach is to work with our businesses and people to educate them and help them and urge them to comply. If we see issues that are repeated, or egregious, then we do have that authority behind it to enforce.”
The full text of the updated order was posted on the county’s website Wednesday afternoon. It directs county residents to stay at home except to engage in essential activities.
Effective immediately, the order says, “all public and private gatherings of any number of people that are not part of a single household or living unit are prohibited except for the limited purposes permitted by this order. Nothing in this order shall prohibit the gathering of members of a single household or living unit.”
The order’s exceptions are “essential activities or tasks,” which “are those deemed necessary for the health, safety, and well-being of an individual, their family, household members or pets,” the order reads. This includes “obtaining medical supplies or medication, seeking emergency services, or visiting a healthcare or behavioral healthcare professional.”
Residents should practice social distancing and personal hygiene practices while completing essential tasks, the order says.
The change comes only a day after an emergency virtual meeting of the Davis Board of Health, in which the board decided, based on its data, not to implement more stringent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The updated county order is consistent with earlier county and state public health orders, which means it will extend the closure of dine-in service at restaurants.
The order also “requires businesses to actively enforce social distancing practices and exclude ill employees from working,” according to an email from the county health department. “Social distancing should include at least 6 feet between all people in the establishment, and workers symptomatic with respiratory illness or fever must not be present under any circumstances.”
In addition, it closes more types of businesses that function as gathering places or create close contact between people.
This decision was “based on the (business’) inability to observe social distancing that’s necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Hatch said.
These newly restricted businesses include amusement parks, carnivals, water parks, public and private swimming pools, splash pads, aquariums, zoos, aviaries, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, recreation centers, social clubs, gyms and fitness centers, Hatch said.
Also included are hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, electrophoresis providers, waxing salons, eyebrow threading shops, tattoo and body art parlors, massage establishments and tanning facilities.
The order also closes children’s playgrounds, and limits access to outdoor sports courts and fields to members of the same household.
This expands social distancing requirements compared to an earlier version of the county’s order, effective March 18 through April 1 — framing them as requirements rather than recommendations.
The earlier version recommended that residents “limit social visits,” while the updated version tells residents “not (to) visit friends or family without urgent need.”
The timeline for the county’s order moves it two and a half weeks beyond Gov. Herbert’s “stay safe, stay home” directive, issued to all Utahns at a press conference Friday. The governor’s voluntary but highly encouraged directive is in effect through April 13.
On Wednesday afternoon, Herbert also announced a two-week extension of the state’s March 17 public health order banning dine-in service at restaurants. If not for Herbert’s extension, that order would have expired Wednesday, April 1, at 11:59 p.m. It is now in effect through April 15, with an exception.
Now, customers will be able to walk into a restaurant and order from the counter if social distancing can be accommodated in the space, Herbert said Wednesday. However, there should still be no congregating of people into groups.
Herbert also emphasized that the state orders any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to go into self-isolation and quarantine for 14 days, starting the day the individual tests positive.
This quarantine order also applies to anyone who is exposed to someone else who tests positive for COVID-19, beginning from the day of exposure, he said — including any individuals who live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Utah had 1,012 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, said Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, at the same press conference where Herbert spoke. That number has gone up by 125 since Tuesday.
Two additional COVID-19 deaths occurred in Salt Lake County yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths in Utah to seven. Both of the new deaths were people over the age of 65, Dunn said. One person died in hospice care and the other in a hospital, she said.
The state has now tested a total of 20,155 Utahns, and 1,642 of those test results came back on Tuesday, Dunn said.