FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Summit County, Utah (April 20, 2020) – Summit County is unveiling a strategy and timelines for transitioning to the Stabilization Phase of the COVID-19 emergency beginning with the next Health Order revision on May 1, 2020. During the Stabilization Phase, the County will lift the stay-at-home order and gradually allow business and social activity to reopen under specific protocols that continue to protect the public and our health system from a surge of the COVID-19 virus.
“We commend the residents of Summit County for staying home and doing a great job to protect their community,” said County Council Chair, Doug Clyde. “Because of everyone’s efforts, we are able to begin the transition from the Urgent Phase of the emergency to the Stabilization Phase which will begin to allow citizens and business to get back to work.”
On April 17, 2020, Governor Herbert issued the Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan, outlining strategies and timelines for protecting health and reviving the economy. The Plan details steps to gradually “turn-up-the-dial” on economic and social activity according to a color-coded health risk guidance system that ranges from Red (high), through Orange (moderate) and Yellow (low), and finally to Green (the new normal). Summit County and the State of Utah currently remain at the Red risk level. For details see the Utah Leads Together Plan at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-leads-together/.
Summit County’s strategy for easing the current health orders and moving into and through the Stabilization Phase will rely on ongoing epidemiological data collection (testing results) concerning COVID-19 in Summit County, and in alignment with the Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan, to determine risk levels on an ongoing basis. The Summit County Health Department has been developing stabilization protocols, in collaboration with local businesses and industry sectors, with a goal of establishing reasonable sanitization standards and practices that will allow businesses to open while avoiding a second phase of increasing community spread of the virus that could lead to a “turning down the dial” scenario.
“Governor Herbert’s plan is a good plan,” said Dr. Richard Bullough, Summit County Health Officer. “I am pleased by how our County has performed during this pandemic. All decisions we have made in response to this virus have been data-driven and that will remain as we reactivate the economy. We have a plan for getting people back to work but the trigger points and how we adjust will be based on the data.”
In assessing current risk and trends, Summit County anticipates that it may be able to begin easing into the Stabilization Phase as soon as May 1. Industry sector and business representatives are currently being recruited to collaborate with the Health Department to further refine industry and business-specific protocols, building on work already compiled on the State, regional and local level, that will be due by April 27. The intent is for the County to operate under a new health order and stabilization plan that will be guided by and responsive to ongoing assessment of risk levels.
The health order will also provide guidance on special events and mass gatherings. Currently, mass gatherings are not allowed. The Governor’s Plan anticipates gatherings of up to 20 being allowed at the orange risk level and easing to gatherings of 50 sometime later in the Stabilization Phase.
Summit County officials thank the community, especially our local businesses and workforce, for their patience and perseverance during this emergency. We encourage everyone to stay vigilant in taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please follow updates at https://summitcountyhealth.org/coronavirus.
Public Information Officer – Summit County Health Department