Provo City launches its next coronavirus phase: 'Proceed with Caution'

Mayor Michelle Kaufusi looking for balance
Posted at 12:17 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 14:17:37-04

PROVO, Utah — Cities and counties across Utah are now beginning the process of trying to slowly reopen the economy several weeks into the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Gary Herbert moved Utah from a red or high risk state to an orange or moderate risk on May 1.

Provo Mayor, Michelle Kaufusi, along with members of Provo Public Safety and public health departments, rolled out the city's next phase Monday morning.

It's called, "Proceed with Caution."

The mayor wants to make sure everyone doesn’t rush back in haphazardly, as they emerge in many cases, from a month and a half of staying home.

"I think people are so tired of being cooped up and want to get out," the mayor said.

She doesn’t want to come off as heavy-handed while trying to make sure residents stay safe, in particular when it comes to social distancing.

“Yeah, it’s a fine line," Mayor Kaufusi said. "And for me and the citizens of Provo I have just found that it works better if I show up and just say; ‘come on we need you to comply, it’s really important to help us out here,' and they’ve been good.”

Knowing that almost everyone is familiar stop lights -- red for stop, yellow for caution and green for go -- it was decided they would be part of the campaign.

“So common sense is the rule of the day and our citizens have done an outstanding job so we haven’t had a problem," said Chief Rich Ferguson with the Provo Police Department. "We’ve had calls for service where people have thought, there were too many people, maybe at the football field, we’ve responded appropriately, we’ve made the recommendations and that’s it.”

“As long as I can trust you to self regulate then we don’t have to worry about any of those stricter regulations," Mayor Kaufusi said. But she added a direct message to the city's residents. "It’s up to you, it’s really up to them if they’ll do it.”

The bottom line: Proceed with caution.