The revised order for Grand County goes into effect today, allowing some businesses considered high-risk to public health to reopen with safety precautions.
While the draft released by the Southeast Utah Health Department proved to be looser on mask-wearing requirements – now mandated for all employees by the governor’s executive order – the Moab-area order has more restrictions on overnight accomodations like hotels, motels and AirBnBs.
The Utah State Legislature recently passed SB3004, a bill that created a commission to advise Gov. Herbert on how to respond to COVID-19 with an eye on the state’s economy.
The bill has been a point of concern in Moab and other areas with strong public health orders, as under the new law, local public health ordinances would be barred from being more restrictive than state ordinances, unless the governor specifically allows an exception.
“[Gov. Gary Herbert] has reviewed and approved our amended order,” said Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan in an email.
The official SEUHD order that went into effect May 1 requires that larger hotels and motels are restricted to renting a portion of their total capacity. Vacated rooms must be left empty for a 24-hour period prior to cleaning. Campground and RV site occupancy must be limited to 50% of total spots and dispersed camping remains banned for nonresidents of Grand County.
“The Local Health Officer finds that a need for specially tailored restrictions and prohibitions remains with respect to Grand County,” the SEUHD order says.
Guidance for all other businesses, including restaurants, falls in line with state-level guidance for easing restrictions in Governor Gary Herbert’s “Utah Leads Forward 2.0” plan, with Sloan noting that “only the lodging plan is more restrictive.”