The following release comes from the Utah Department of Health —
These proactive measures to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Utah communities are effective for the next two weeks beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. At that time, the Utah Coronavirus Task Force will re-evaluate these recommendations to determine the most appropriate actions we need to take as a state to keep Utahns healthy.
• Limit mass gatherings of more than 100 people if everyone in the group is healthy, including church.
This includes gatherings such as church and religious services, concerts, conferences, and other events or places where large numbers of people gather together.
This recommendation does not currently apply to public K-12 grade schools. We ask that local school districts and schools with closely with their local health officers on a case-by-case basis to determine if or when it is appropriate to close schools.
• If you are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions which put you at an increased risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19, you should not attend any mass gatherings.
Stay home if you are sick. We ask employers for leniency and tolerance for employees who are sick and need to stay home to help prevent the spread of this disease.
• If you are older than the age of 60 or are immunocompromised, you should limit your participation in groups of more than 20 at a time.
Anyone who is immunocompromised or who has underlying medical conditions which puts them at an increased risk for severe symptoms for COVID-19 should avoid gatherings with 20 or more people. This recommendation does not apply to businesses.
• If you can work from home, we are asking business leaders to implement teleworking as soon as possible.
Businesses should allow employees to telework immediately, if feasible. We encourage business leaders to make teleworking available to as many employees as possible and expand what they may already be doing in this regard.
• Long-term care facilities will have restricted or screened access.
Local health departments must protect our most vulnerable citizens. We ask that local health departments work closely with long-term care facilities to restrict visitor access and monitor employees and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.
• All Utah Systems of Higher Education institutions are ‘going digital’. Campuses and campus services will remain open. Labs will still be held.
Encourage social distancing and travel restrictions for students, employees, and staff. Restrict nonessential travel for employees. School-sponsored events and gatherings should be canceled. Classes will be conducted online as immediately as possible
• K-12 schools (public, charter, private) are being asked to prepare to close. There is a 3 tiered plan in place for this, called “Ready, Set, Go.”
Closing a school is a local decision supported by the state and public health officials. The decision to close a school should not be made out of fear or anxiety but rather in close coordination with your local health officer. Do not close schools unless there is an imminent threat to students and staff and in close coordination with your local health officer. Additional guidance on school closures is forthcoming.
All school related out-of-state travel is canceled. Extracurricular activities will be evaluated by local health officers in consultation with schools. Schools should begin planning to postpone or cancel large school-sponsored events and gatherings, such as assemblies, conferences, sporting events, etc. again, in consultation with their local health officer. Consider staggering recesses, lunch times, and the start and end times of school dismissal so students aren’t gathered in large numbers at one time.
Teachers and staff should amplify hygiene measures in the classroom such cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly and having students wash their hands more frequently before and after lunch, recess, etc.