Emily Niehaus tells people writing isn’t something in which she excels, but the mayor’s letter asking some of Utah’s top outdoor equipment manufacturers to provide personal protective equipment to the city has proved to be quite effective.
“We are so, so grateful to have this supply of PPE, especially as we head into Memorial Day weekend,” said Niehaus to Mike Cannon on Monday morning. “Businesses have been able to get some emergency PPE through the state’s Push Pack Program, but it’s not enough for our tourism-based businesses, especially on a weekend as busy as Memorial Day, where we may have 20 visitors for every resident in town. So I’m just so grateful to you and the other industry partners for your generosity. In these times, it feels comforting to know that this industry cares about us as a community.”
Cannon, of DPS Skis, said he and most others involved in the outdoors industry enjoy Moab, and the decision to help came easy.
Niehaus made it clear the masks are for employees who need one and visitors who would like one. The question of whether to wear one or not is a personal choice, according to the order signed by Gov. Gary Herbert when the decision a couple of weeks ago was made to start reopening the State of Utah.
Last month, DPS and other outdoor manufacturers, such as Petzl, went from producing snow skis and other outdoor items to making medical-grade reusable polyethylene face shields for the Utah Department of Health.
He donated 20 such face shields to Moab, at least 20 gallons of hand sanitizer, 1,500 buffs, classic facemasks and medical-grade KN95 masks. Goal Zero, Teton Sports and Gregory Mountain Products joined DPS and Petzl in the donations.
Later on May 18, Niehaus personally delivered the donated items to local businesses making more PPE available for their employees and visitors. Niehaus recognizes that it is a requirement by the health department for employees serving visitors to wear masks, but she also respects the governor’s decision to make wearing a mask a personal choice for patrons as the city is opening up.
“We’re moving into some kind of new normal,” Niehaus said. “Having masks available for the employees required to wear them and the visitors wanting to wear them is critical. I’m so grateful to the outdoor recreation community for their support in helping to make PPE accessible.”