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Posted by & filed under News.

By Michael K. Erickson

Read more about Salt Lake County’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order here.

On March 27, 2020, Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued a Directive to the State of Utah to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” In the Directive, Governor Herbert stresses that it is “not to be confused with a shelter-in-place order,” but nevertheless urges all Utah residents “to follow” it, as a necessary precaution “to keep Utah residents safe during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.”

This Advisory highlights the directives relevant to all Utah businesses and nonprofit organizations. Please note, however, that Salt Lake County and Summit County have issued more restrictive stay-at-home orders that include mandatory business closures. This Advisory does not include information about those counties.

Utah Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations should:

  1. Respond in a flexible way to varying levels of disease transmission in the community and refine business response plans as needed.
  2. Consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in the workplace. This may include activities in one or more of the following areas:
    • reducing transmission among employees and volunteers;
    • maintaining healthy business operations; and
    • maintaining a healthy work environment.
  3. Encourage and enable employees and volunteers to telework from home. Only employees or volunteers who perform work that cannot be done from their home should be exempted from teleworking.
  4. Utilize video conferencing and virtual meeting services.
  5. Implement policies for employees and volunteers who cannot telework, including:
    • requiring employees and volunteers who present symptoms of illness consistent with COVID-19 to stay home;
    • not requiring a positive COVID-19 test result or health care provider’s note for employees or volunteers who stay home due to illness;
    • enhancing social distancing by grouping employees and volunteers into cohorts of no more than ten individuals that have limited contact with other cohorts in the workplace;
    • enabling employees and volunteers to follow the directives for all individuals, as described above (e.g., by providing hand soap, hand sanitizer, or sanitizing wipes);
    • minimizing face-to-face contact with high-risk* employees and volunteers, or assigning work tasks to high-risk* employees and volunteers that allow them to maintain a distance of at least six feet from other workers, customers and visitors, or to telework if possible; and
    • implementing flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts).
  6. Assess essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on services or products offered.
    • Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize existing customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
    • Identify alternate supply chains for critical goods and services.
    • Coordinate with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees or volunteers about the importance of sick employees and volunteers staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
    • Coordinate with business partners about your response plans. Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.
  7. Take measures to accommodate high-risk* individuals in the workplace.

The above directives, however, do not apply to healthcare professionals, law enforcement and first responders, faith leaders, and charitable and social service organizations.

* A high-risk individual means any individual who is age 60 or older, or any individual with a serious underlying medical condition.