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Summit County orders closure of all dine-in food service, other areas of public gathering

Restaurants limited to curbside or drive-thru service only
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Posted at 12:16 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 19:08:26-04

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — Summit County health officials have ordered a closure of all dine-in food service and other public gathering places to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Summit County Health Officer Dr. Rich Bullough and Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson issued a Public Health Order on Sunday, saying in part:

"Effective March 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., the Order requires the closure of resorts, restaurants, taverns, bars, entertainment venues, fitness and exercise facilities, spas, churches, and other businesses at which people tend to gather."

Bullough states the businesses and facilities which are included represent "those for which the risk of community transmission is higher due to groups of people gathering, the potential for contact with virus particles due to proximity, the exchange of cash and credit cards."

Restaurants can still serve curbside take-out and drive-thru customers with certain precautions.

"We can't emphasize enough the priority to still make food available. Curbside take-out and drive-thru food service is permitted, but third party food delivery services are prohibited," Bullough continued.

The order states that as of Saturday, Summit County had the highest proportion of positive cases of COVID-19. Six of the eight confirmed cases in the county were visitors who contracted the virus outside of Utah.

"Given Summit County's and Park City's prominence as tourist destinations for domestic and international travelers, and given the heightened risk of further Community Spread through public contacts among visitors, locals and the service providers," the order stated, "the Summit County Health Officer has determined that the closure of a wide variety of venues and facilities where members of the public congregate within Summit County is critical."

The announcement comes just after a Park City restaurant employee tested positive for the virus and ski resorts announced closures.

The order will not impact grocery or convenience stores and will expire on April 16 — 30 days from when it went into effect. The Summit County Health Officer will re-evaluate the order in two weeks.

"We can't emphasize enough how important it is at this time that we band together as a community. Go to the grocery store in an orderly manner. Be patient. Be kind. Look for opportunities to help those in need. If we all work together we'll be able to overcome the impact of this virus," Bullough concluded.

The order may be read in its entirety here.