Here’s the plan for reopening Utah after COVID-19
As many now know, Governor Herbert’s Utah Leads Together plan consists of three phases or latitudes: urgent, stabilization, and recovery. The phase Utah is currently in will be determined by Governor Herbert.
At a local level, we must coordinate these economic phases with public health guidance as we dial up or down our color codes along the reactivation path. Moving from red to orange to yellow to green depending on risk level, and keeping those parameters in effect until a medical solution develops.
Over the summer we expect stabilization in the economy as Utahns develop the confidence to re-engage. And yet, it’s also a possibility that as the state moves the dial from yellow to green, some counties or communities could remain at yellow, or go from yellow to orange in cases of a viral uptick.
In addition, the plan provides stricter guidance for high-risk individuals. High-risk individuals include anyone over the age of 65 and individuals with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or heart conditions, and those individuals are advised to wear face masks at all times in public.
For all individuals, travel should be restricted to essential needs when possible and work travel is not advised. Group interaction should remain on hold with family or friend visits restricted to urgent needs. We encourage everyone to respect our high-risk population and seek to serve their needs. There is no substitute for social distancing and maintaining facial coverings in public if only to protect these members of our community.
Travel remains one of the distinct variables that cannot be controlled but we can control our approach to it. Unnecessary travel should be avoided and certainly all travel should be informed by the specific public health guidance associated with the destination. Those who must travel are encouraged to keep strict control of hand hygiene and wear a mask at all times on public transit in order to protect ourselves and our community so the virus does not travel back to Utah.
Another important tool to combat the spread of the coronavirus included in the Utah Leads Together plan is our “Healthy Together” app. This app allows users to schedule a test at the nearest testing location and relays results with further instructions should a test comes back positive. This tool will remain useful throughout the pandemic as a natural ebb and flow of virus resurgance may occur.
It is up to individuals to stay informed about hot spots and manage the risk level associated with their location and population. We can protect ourselves by continuing to follow social distancing measures, proper hand hygiene, and avoiding dense gatherings. Leaders across the state believe the COVID-19 challenge will be both a short and long-term risk that we must learn to manage.
As Utah transitions between economic phases, we must stay ever vigilant around specific color-coded risk guidance. This will ensure the protection of our entire community but especially high-risk individuals. As we screen and assess our symptoms with the “Healthy Together” app and limit our travel to the essential with mitigating protocols, we will serve as an example to the nation.