Bear River Health Department issues order closing some businesses, restricting others

The Bear River Health Department encourages people to call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7077 or their health care provider to see if they need to be tested.

LOGAN – On Saturday, the Bear River Health Department (BRHD) released an order further restricting certain business practices in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties. One of the orders specifically limits surgical centers not located in a hospital. The order closes these surgical centers specifically to preserve valuable and scarce Personal Protective Equipment and other resources that will likely be needed during the pandemic.

All gyms, health clubs, exercise studios, spas, fitness centers, museums and entertainment venues are also to be closed.

It orders all restaurants to observe “no contact delivery” to further limit any person-to-person contact. Additionally, the BRHD order provided guidelines and restrictions for hair and nail salons, tanning salons, body art salons, physical therapy clinics and services and child day care facilities and services to support Governor Herbert’s directives which were  announced Friday.

To see the order in its entirety, click here: BRHD-Order-3-28-20-1.

On Saturday, BRHD Executive Director Lloyd Berentzen addressed the events of the COVID-19 era:

Q-Utahns read Saturday of the items in the Governor’s new directives. And at the same time, the BRHD Board of Health released a health order. Tell us about it:

A-“One of the things they have encouraged us at the local level is to assess where we’re at in our area. Here in Cache and Rich and Box Elder counties as of yesterday we had nine cases of COVID-19, much fewer than some counties south of us. Until two days ago, all of the cases in our district were travel-related. Since then we have had two that are called ‘community spread,’ in other words, spread within our community and not contracted while traveling. Once you move into that category of new cases, that heightens what you need to do to lock things down.”

Q-We recognize once a case is identified in your district, BRHD is responsible to conduct an investigation. And there will be more cases.

A-“Yes, we know that the number of cases is going to increase, and what we try to do is get on those as soon as possible, recognize where those contacts have been, be sure we get folks into quarantine or isolation. And we have found most people contracting the disease are so cooperative and willing to do that. They want to be part of the solution, too.”

Q-How does that process begin?

A-“Whenever we are notified there is a positive case, we immediately start an epidemiological investigation where we do contact tracing. One case we had yesterday ended up taking six staff members a good portion of the day. They just went through everything they needed to in order to make sure we had traced back to whatever contacts there could have been some sort of exposure to.”

Q-How long are you in contact with these folks who have contracted COVID-19?

A-“There are temperatures reported twice a day, we’ll have to monitor them, we can do that over the phone. It’s a fairly intensive process we go through as we watch them until they are no longer symptomatic. Once they have recovered, they can move on.”

Q-We all see what this pandemic is doing to the economy, all the way down to our local business community. From where you are in this, what can be done to help them?

A-“One of the things I have my environmental staff doing right now is trying to get a group of owners of local restaurants together, and ask ‘What can we do to follow safe protocol that might one day make it so that we could have people go in and sit down for a meal again?’ Perhaps we could have people come to eat by appointment only, maybe they could have temperature checks at the door. Maybe there could be a few people sitting at a table, at every other table, with the tables six to eight feet apart. We are looking for creative ways to do things so it doesn’t decimate the economy. It would be great to find something like that, while at the very same time making sure we are creating assurances for the safety of everyone.”

Q-We are worried in this country, many are fearful of the uncertainty.

A-“I can tell everyone, they don’t need to walk around in fear. They can have confidence in the systems and the intervention that is going on. We’re going to get through this. We’ll be okay. We recognize there is so much noise, some on social media. This stuff is overwhelming people; so we’re really concerned not only about their physical but their mental health. They need to know they can have confidence in the system. Remember, the order from our Board goes for two weeks, then we’re going to evaluate. We use science in everything we do and what we do is in the best interest of the public.”

Q-Finally, what is your best advice?

A-“If we can get those 60 and over, those who are immuno-compromised, those who have underlying health conditions, to stay home the next four or five weeks or so, and keep them out of the hospital, it will make a big difference. They are the most vulnerable.”

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  • Holly March 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm Reply

    How can the immune compromised / over 60 stay home when the work force. ( their employer). Will not let them.
    We want to be safe!!!
    Please Advise.

  • Free Bird March 29, 2020 at 4:37 pm Reply

    Never thought I would see the day when the Bear River Health Department started demanding orders. If you want to push people the wrong, keep demanding orders!
    Never mind while this virus has taken over, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department has combined and nationalized the United States Of America. I do believe they call that Nationalized Socialism, am I correct?

  • Free Bird March 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm Reply

    I have been doing what I think is right, staying home and avoiding other people, I just have to wonder what is really going on.

  • Nicki Taylor March 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm Reply

    What about hotels?
    There are people that are still traveling.
    It’s hard to self isolate or be at work when there are families that are still traveling and more than 10 people in the halls.

  • Voter March 29, 2020 at 8:17 pm Reply

    We need more testing! Iceland tested 3.5% of their population. About half of the positive cases had no symptoms.

  • S March 29, 2020 at 10:05 pm Reply

    I recommend shutting everything down and not put money over lives

    • Freddie Watkins March 31, 2020 at 6:18 am Reply

      Then how you going to feed your family

  • Valorie March 30, 2020 at 1:59 am Reply

    Same question as Holly. My husband is immune compromised as he just finished chemo and radiation for brain cancer… his job (in Salt Lake) has not offered them any sort of supplies to help them try to stay safe, but also isn’t allowing him to stay home. He drives to slc every day and then has face to face contact with a variety of people as he is a traveling service technician to an “essential” business. How is he supposed to stay home and alive without loosing our house income and his job?!

  • Steve Baugh March 30, 2020 at 7:34 am Reply

    I think it better for the HEALTH DEPARTMENT to suggest certain Guidelines, most of which are agreeable
    and reserve GIVING ORDERS to an elected official.

    • Nobody March 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm Reply

      BRHD is a department in the county government. They handle or oversee every kind of health issue in it’s jurisdiction. They have more than enough authority to order closures of non-essential business, shelter-in-place orders, etc. to protect the health of the community. The Health Department has authority over community health just like the Sheriff’s Department has authority over law and order. Even if it’s an order from the governor BRHD would be the ones carrying out the orders and making sure the counties in their district complied. And what’s the difference anyway? Are you gonna do the opposite just because you were “ordered” by them to do what everyone else is already telling everyone to do to keep people safe anyway? Who do you think would be advising the governor to make that order? Health Departments. No matter where it comes from, it’s done to keep people safe. Do it because it’s the right thing if you can’t do it cause the HEALTH Department said so 🙁

      • John April 1, 2020 at 12:40 pm Reply

        Why Hello, Free Bird. Based on your other comments on these types of articles, I am disappointed but not at all surprised that you would compare the MURDER OF SIX MILLION JEWS AND THE DESTRUCTION OF EUROPE to not being able to visit the gym. You disgust me. Mr. Berentzen is a public servant that has dedicated his professional life to keep the community safe, as have the other employees of the BRHD. They are saving lives, including the foolish, like yourself. It’s people like you that are going to make the shutdowns longer and more onerous because you will not listen to reason “becuz muh rightz are bein infringed.” Grow up, read a history book, and while you are at it review the Utah State code, that gives them the authority to close establishments when they are a threat to public health.

        • Free Bird April 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm Reply

          First off, my interest isn’t in the gym just so you know. You make a lot of assumptions, that you obviously know nothing about.
          If you would of read my original post you would have noticed I said I have been doing what had been suggested, did you miss that on purpose? So tell me mister know it all, tell me what I am doing to prolong the shutdown? I haven’t said anything about places being closed, so where did you obtain this information you know so much about?
          Actually I did serve my Country so people could be free, what exactly have you done for your country exactly?
          Had Mr. Lloyd Berentzen posted his comments in a professional and courteous manner, you probably wouldn’t of heard a word from Mr. Steve Baugh, or myself. Something for you to chew on!

        • John April 1, 2020 at 7:29 pm Reply

          Funny, someone who had served his country wouldn’t compare an American health official to, you know, an actual Nazi. They usually don’t parade their service to try and shut someone else down either.

          Governments don’t ask nicely. They mandate. What are they supposed to do, knock politely on your door with a bouquet of roses? They are advertising. They are on the local news. They are doing everything they can to get the word out and explain the risks. I’m sorry they weren’t able to give an engraved invitation for you.

          Finally, people like you ARE prolonging the shutdown. You’re comparing lawful orders from BRHD and the county attorney to Hitler! In an earlier post you threaten not to follow distancing guidelines because they didn’t ask nicely! You are encouraging people not to take it seriously.

          Again: read the Utah State Code. Read a history book. Stop comparing the people fighting to keep you safe to Nazis. Use the freedom of speech you claim to have fought for like an adult, not a third grader going for shock value.

        • John April 1, 2020 at 8:57 pm Reply

          I apologize for getting nasty. This happened on a bad day and I let my emotions get the best of me. I think it is absolutely wrong to call people Nazis because you disagree with them, but that doesn’t justify my behavior. If I could delete the last comment I would.

  • Lisa March 30, 2020 at 8:33 am Reply

    Sports Academy still is open chooses to go against the protocole. At least that’s what they said when I talked to them last week. Hoping they do close. So it can save lives! Don’t think they should be able to bill people either while they have to close down due to it being a mandatory shut down if they actually shutdown. If you can’t use the gym why pay for it! I just hope they have actually closed their doors now for this shut down!

  • Amy schuyler March 30, 2020 at 11:09 am Reply

    What about hotels ?
    The front desk staff and housekeeping staff are at a high risk everyday from traveling people!

  • Logan resident March 31, 2020 at 7:11 am Reply

    shut it all down before it gets worse, why wait till it gets worse, stop the traveling from county to county keep everyone in their cities start the machines to sanitize the cities, curfews. traveling is obvious the reason why the spread is getting from one place to another.

    • S March 31, 2020 at 10:54 am Reply


  • Free Bird April 1, 2020 at 8:39 pm Reply

    Seems how I can’t answer old King Johns answer, personally I think BRHD is nothing more then a worthless agency. A bunch of liberals that will suck every penny out of you, and tell you how great they are.

    • Nobody April 2, 2020 at 1:17 pm Reply

      No one cares if you like the Health Department or not. The point is, do what health officials have asked or told us to do. No one cares if you’re precious, snowflake feelings were hurt by an order given for the protection of the public. We all know what we need to do to “flatten the curve”. Don’t be part of the problem because you feelings got hurt. Be part of the solution because it’s the right thing to do.

      • Free Bird April 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm Reply

        Obviously, you don’t know how to read, if you did you would know I am already doing what Dr. Fauci ( a known professional) has recommended.
        My feelings aren’t hurt trust me, and if I was a betting person, I would bet that you are a liberal snowflake and put your time in at BRHD, which unfortunately my taxes go to.

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