Friday was Tooele County’s first orange day. Tooele County, along with most of the state, dropped from high risk red to moderate risk orange on May 1, in accordance with new directives from the county and the state.
Orange level refers to the color coded COVID-19 pandemic recovery outlined in the state’s Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan. Health and government officials have determined that stay at home directives and business closures have successfully flattened the pandemic curve, resulting in a decrease in the infection rate and the percentage of positive cases.
It’s time now to start to re-open the economy, bring people back to work, and begin a journey towards what the new normal will be, according to health and government leaders.
Don’t be confused, the novel coronavirus is still out there, and we are without a vaccine or a magic-bullet cure.
Where possible, people should continue to work from home. Schools are still closed, and public playground equipment should not be used. Outdoor recreation should be restricted to groups of the same household. Personal hygiene standards should be maintained — wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside of the elbow, stay home if sick.
Social distancing of six feet from other people and wearing masks or face coverings is recommended. People are encouraged to limit trips outside the home to essential travel, with in-person contacts limited to groups no larger than 20.
But previously closed or restricted businesses may now re-open, following strict safety protocols designed to keep everybody, customer and employees, safe.
Many business owners are looking forward to re-opening and some customers are anxious for their first post COVID-19 haircut or the chance to sit down and eat inside their favorite restaurant.
Public health officials assure us that Tooele County is ready with testing, identification, isolation, and contact tracing for pinpoint treatment of any hot spots that may occur as businesses re-open.
A return to the red level will only be warranted if an increase in COVID-19 cases threaten our health care capabilities, including hospital beds, ventilators, available personnel and the ability to test and trace, according to local health officials.
The Transcript Bulletin welcomes the new orange alert level. We encourage Tooele County citizens to voluntarily follow the orange level guidelines.