Today, March 16, the Southeast Utah Health Department declared the following 14-day restrictions in Utah “in light of the threat that COVID-19 places on our rural and isolated community”:
- Restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, and theaters shall limit the number of customers to 50% of fire code capacity.
- Restaurants and facilities such as theaters, bars, and bowling alleys shall arrange customers in such a way as to maximize social distancing and achieve a distance of 6 feet between groups of customers.
- Counter service restaurants are restricted to provide take out or drive through service only.
- No live music events at bars.
- Breakfast at hotels shall be single service items. Hotels shall take measures to allow for at least 6 feet of space between tables in the breakfast area and decrease lines.
Counter service restaurants are those that serve food from the counter rather than bringing food to customers’ tables. This primarily includes fast food restaurants. Restaurants with drive-through capabilities, for example, may not host customers inside the building.
Under Utah state code, the Southeastern Utah Health Department has the authority to “close theaters, schools, and other public places and prohibit gatherings of people when necessary to protect the public health,” according to the order.
The Moab Garage has counter and sit-down service, but owners Ryan and Erin Bird decided to limit service to takeout, and only card users could make a purchase. 98 Center placed a portable hand washing stand outside of the restaurant and it also won’t accept cash payments.
Other restaurants took similar measures.
Doug McMurdo contributed to this report.