CACHE COUNTY – Cache County is set to re-open a little on Friday, May 1.
“Under relaxed guidelines announced by Gov. Gary Herbert today,” said County Executive Craig Buttars at the April 28 meeting of the Cache County Council, “the state will be moving from a high level of restrictions due to the Coronavirus to a more moderate level.
“What that means for the county is that we’ll move forward with opening up some of our restaurants and other businesses.”
Buttars added that, in cooperation with officials of the Bear River Health District, local restaurant owners had been given a “heads-up” that this change was coming.
“Many of our restaurants are already getting ready to open their doors,” Buttars noted. “They are placing the food orders needed to handle dine-in customers, bringing their employees back and preparing to invite the public to return.”
Many Cache Valley restaurants have been able to remain open during the pandemic by creating a co-op, helping each other with deliveries and take out options with the help of the Cache Valley Media Group website cachevalleyrestaurantdelivery.com.
In a press briefing on April 28, Herbert reminded Utah residents that the relaxation of statewide social distancing guidelines should not be mistaken for a return to “business as usual.”
Buttars explained that local restaurants have been advised to move their tables 10 feet apart so that individuals can still maintain six-foot social distancing space. Restaurant employees will be required to wear face masks and to be screened for Coronavirus symptoms on a daily basis prior to be allowed to interact with the public.
“In the last 10 days,” Buttars explained, “we have only had four new cases (test positive for the Coronavirus) in the Bear River Health District and all of those have been traceable. So, we do know how each of those individual became infected … That puts us in a situation where the county can afford to open up a little bit more and it’s appropriate for us at this time.”
Under Herbert’s Coronavirus reaction plan, entitled “Utah Leads Together 2.0,” four threat levels are listed. The state has been considered to be at the high or “red” level since mid-March. The governor announced a statewide reduction of that status to moderate or “orange” level on April 28.
“The governor also said,” Buttars noted, “that there were some areas of the state that could move from our previous ‘red’ level of restriction directly into the ‘yellow’ level (in which the threat of the Coronavirus is considered low). We may be at that stage in the next week or two. Hopefully, that can happen in two weeks at the latest.”
The county executive added that officials of the Bear River Health Department would likely be announcing revised guidelines for county residents to observe under the new moderate threat level for the Coronavirus. At the urging of the state Coronavirus Task Force, those guidelines will undoubtedly include an advisory that all individuals should wear face masks at all times when outdoors.
“There’s always the possibility of a new local virus outbreak that would force us to move back into the ‘red’ restriction level,” Buttars warned. “How well this (shift to the moderate threat level) works will depend on how well our public reacts, particularly if they’re willing to wear their masks, observe social distancing guidelines, sanitize frequently and follow all the other common sense guidelines we’ve had in effect for the past month.”
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this article used a photo of Saboor Saheli at Angie’s Restaurant. Angie’s is currently finishing up some remodeling and will not be able to open their doors on Friday, May 1.