Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Utah, US, extend directives urging residents to remain inside their homes, nonessential businesses to close until April 30.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Vernal, Utah
  • Moab, Utah
  • St. George, Utah
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Provo, Utah

This alert began 10 Apr 2020 14:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Utah (map)
  • Date: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, travel restrictions

Summary
Utah Governor Gary Herbert has extended a directive urging residents to stay inside their homes as much as possible, and nonessential businesses to close their in-person operations, through at least April 30. The measures form part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The directives, which are not mandatory, urge residents to stay at home and avoid any outside travel, except to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, or perform outdoor recreational activities while maintaining a proper distance from others. The directives also urge nonessential businesses to allow employees to work from their homes as much as possible. Healthcare facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, and companies and nonprofit organizations providing essential services in housing, manufacturing, transport, and energy are exempted, as well as law enforcement and emergency personnel. Authorities in Utah have banned in-person services at restaurants and bars, only allowing those businesses to operate for deliveries and pick-ups, until at least April 15. All National Parks located in the state are closed to public access until further notice.

Authorities in Utah have also ordered all adult travelers entering the state, via air or ground, until at least May 1, to fill an electronic form stating their travel plans, as well as health information relevant to combat COVID-19.

Officials in Salt Lake County have extended stay at home orders until May 1. Authorities in Davis, Summit, and Weber-Morgan counties also have stay at home orders in place.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the orders at short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Utah authorities are similar to actions adopted by other state governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Utah - COVID-19 Updates: https://coronavirus.utah.gov

Governor of Utah - Stay Home Directive: https://coronavirus.utah.gov