Utah braces for the impact COVID-19 as surrounding states declare shelter-in-place or stay at home orders to prevent the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, several counties of the state of Utah declare a state of emergency to help relieve the stress on local businesses.

The order of a Shelter-In-Place would be an enforced advisory for most people that would state that people should only leave their houses for work for critical business, to obtain essential supplies for home, such as food, to seek medical attention, or to help another person in a different location.

This order would be seen as a last measure taken to prevent the disease’s spread from hitting Utah, and the Uintah Basin, as hard as it has the potential to without these sorts of measures placed.

“What I’m afraid of,” said Stephanie Ghorbani, a city councilwoman for Salt Lake City, “is if we take a bunch of half measures, and we keep taking half measures, does that not put us in a position where we’re depressing the economy because we’ve got more people getting sick, we’re stretching it out further, as opposed to taking seriously the recommendations that you’re giving now which are really ... ‘stay at home?’”      

21 other states in the U.S.A. have appointed such an order to their full populations. This includes large states such as New York, California, Massachusetts, and even neighbors of Utah such as Colorado and Idaho.

“My administration, along with other state, local, and federal authorities, has taken a wide array of actions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic," said the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis in the stay at home order for Colorado, “to prevent further spread, and protect against overwhelming our health care resources.”

These neighboring states are declaring this to conform to the advisory of what health officials have been suggesting the possibility of. Utah could expect this exact kind of order to soon arrive as Summit County gave out this order on March 25.

“The idea for the order has been tossed around,” said the Utah Health Department, “but currently, we haven’t put forth any plans to carry that out.”

As the state braces for the economic and physical impact the disease would bring, it’s important to continue to keep up to date on what local, state, and federal health officials are advising to be able to stay prepared to prevent further spread.

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