The City of Taylorsville will provide periodic updates about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. We will post pertinent news and information here as available in an effort to keep you informed and up to date about the city's efforts to respond and take action to slow the spread of this novel virus. It will take all of us working together, but we are Taylorsville strong and will help each other. As Mayor Kristie Overson said in her letter to the community: "We appreciate your patience and kindness to those around you during this time. We are Taylorsville; we are a community, and as we do, we will get through this together. Please stay healthy and safe."
Most of Utah Moves to 'Yellow'
Most of Utah, including Taylorsville, will move from "orange," moderate-risk to a "yellow," low-risk designation for COVID-19, starting Saturday, May 16. Under the yellow phase, travel will open up, gatherings will be limited to no more than 50 people, and team sports will be allowed.
At a news conference on Thursday, May 14, Gov. Gary Herbert said Utahns should continue to practice good hygiene, social distancing and the wearing of protective masks to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new designation will apply to all areas of the state except Salt Lake City. Grand County, West Valley City and the Metro Township of Magna were moved to the yellow phase on May 29. Summit and Wasatch counties were moved up on May 21.
The four levels of risk are outlined in the Utah Leads Together plan, and range from a red, high-risk category to orange, meaning the novel coronavirus poses a moderate risk for everyone while vulnerable individuals remain at high risk. Those considered vulnerable include individuals 65 years of age or older and who have some underlying health conditions, including respiratory ailments, asthma, obesity or diabetes. The final two levels of risk are yellow, meaning the virus poses low risk for everyone but vulnerable individuals, followed by green signifying a new normal. Varying levels of restriction, such as the wearing of protective masks and social distancing, correspond and will be put in place with each level of risk.
Gov. Herbert said the move to a low-risk level signifies the precautions that have been put in place are working. "I like the trend. I like the numbers. I like what is taking place. It gives me hope and optimism about the future," he said.
Under the less restrictive guidelines, all businesses are open but must take reasonable precautions. Restaurants can provide dine-in service but still must maintain appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures. Schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year but can hold driver's education courses.
While team sports are allowed, players involved in the sport must be checked for symptoms and spectators must practice social distancing. "All of us still need to be careful and cautious," Gov. Herbert said. "This is individual responsibility and common sense combined."
Salt Lake City-based ARUP Laboratories has begun antibody testing nationwide. IgG antibody tests help detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, providing evidence that a person has been exposed to the virus.
The antibody testing will tell you if you were infected in the past by COVID-19. It differs from drive-through testing, which determines whether you currently have the virus. Antibody testing would need to be ordered by a healthcare provider.
United Way's 211 Offers Help
United Way 211 is an information and referral service that maintains a database of over 10,000 services for Utahns in need. If you are affected by the ripple effects of COVID-19 and need help with the essentials, 211 can assist you in finding a variety of resources to help you stay on your feet.
The service provides general information about the coronavirus, as well as details on accessing resources such as student lunches, food pantries, job information, rent and utility assistance, childcare and more.
Healthy Together App
The Healthy Together app launched by the state helps utilize contact tracing to determine who has potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
The app uses GPS and Bluetooth technology to trace people's whereabouts and, if they report symptoms of novel coronavirus, help health officials find out where they've been and who they have come in contact with.
Use of the app is, of course, optional and privacy protections are built into it.
Gov. Herbert has lifted the Executive Order banning elective and non-emergency medical procedures. The adjustment will go into effect on Monday, April 27, and will require appropriate precautions to be implemented.
Priority will be given to simple, outpatient procedures that don’t use a lot of hospital resources or require long stays for recovery, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Such procedures could also be called off again at any point if COVID-19 cases spike in the state.
The state is using highway reader boards to ask travelers to fill out a survey about their travel and health. A targeted wireless emergency alert, asking travelers the same, has been discontinued following technical glitches.
Passengers arriving at Salt Lake City International Airport also will be given a postcard directing them to fill out the survey before they leave the airport. Those postcards include a QR code, which can be used to access the survey online.
The Utah Department of Transportation is collecting the data and will securely transfer it to the Utah Department of Health for their awareness. The data submitted through this program helps in efforts to trace and mitigate the coronavirus disease.
Bridge Loans for Small Businesses
The Utah Leads Together Small Bridge Loan program has been established to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees can apply to receive loans of $5,000 to $25,000 with 0 percent interest for a 60-month period, said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED).
The state has repurposed $8 million in state economic development funds to provide the loans. Additionally, the Utah Department of Workforce Services has contributed $500,000 to the program. Loan payments will not be required for the first 12 months, and loans cannot exceed three months of demonstrated operating expenses. GOED will use at least 25 percent of the program funds to support rural Utah businesses. Businesses can apply for the loans here. Applications for the first cycle of the Bridge Loan Fund are currently being evaluated. The next cycle for applications begins on April 13.
One Utah Child Care
The State of Utah has started a new child care program to help health care workers and public safety employees who must continue to work during the coronavirus crisis. Tracy Gruber, director of the Utah Office of Child Care, detailed the program during the governor's briefing on Monday (March 30). Essential workers with young children can find information and register at jobs.ut.gov for free child care, she said. Child care will be available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to cover hours that schools are no longer open due to gathering and social distancing restrictions. Child care providers will engage with distance learning now taught through Utah schools. The program will remain in place for as long as schools are closed. The state also will provide a list of caregivers willing to work in people’s homes after hours.
Individuals needing child care who are working but do not fall under the category of essential employees are encouraged to seek care from friends, families and other contacts in the community during this time. If unable to obtain care through any of these types of arrangements, please visit the Department of Workforce Service's careaboutchildcare.org or call 1-800-670-1552.
School Dismissal Extended to End of School Year
The State of Utah announced that the dismissal of public K-12 schools will extend through the end of the academic year. Distance learning and meal services will continue through the extended dismissal.
“These are unprecedented times in Utah’s and our nation’s history,” Gov. Herbert said. “I have been overwhelmed with Utahns’ outpouring of support for one another, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the way our educators are supporting Utah students and families.”
School employees providing distance learning will be limited at school buildings, following the governor’s and CDC’s guidelines to avoid gatherings of groups of 10 or more. Teachers are being, and will continue to be, encouraged to telecommute when possible.
Continue to Practice Social Distancing
State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn has written a letter to Utah business owners explaining how to make sure employees and customers remain safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. She writes that "Utahns need your help to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus through encouraging 'social distancing' in the workplace. Social distancing means to stay away from others as much as possible, whether you are sick or not."
Taylorsville Issues Emergency Declaration
Mayor Overson has signed a proclamation declaring a state of local emergency and invoking emergency powers. The declaration is necessary as a precursor to access federal funding and aid should the need arise. The declaration by the city follows similar proclamations by Gov. Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson on March 6. All cities and townships in Salt Lake County have now made declarations. The proclamation by the City of Taylorsville takes effect immediately and will remain in place for 30 days. According to the proclamation, "The City is authorized to request all assistance available to the City of Taylorsville pursuant to the laws of the United States, State of Utah and Salt Lake County, and to activate all applicable mutual aid agreements."
Closures and Cancellations
Salt Lake County has closed its senior centers, effective March 13, and until further notice. This includes the Taylorsville Senior Center. The closures are being taken as a precautionary measure to prevent potential spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
The Taylorsville Recreation Center, 4948 S. 2700 West, was reopened with modified operations on June 1.
City events that have been canceled or postponed include:
- The 2020 Taylorsville Art Show (originally scheduled for April 10 and 11) has been canceled. It will be rescheduled this fall.
- The Taylorsville Arts Council's production of Peter Pan Jr. (originally scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6) has been rescheduled to September. Details to come.
- The Annual Earth Day Clean-up (originally scheduled for April 25) was also canceled.
Yard sales in Taylorsville also are prohibited at this time.
The Taylorsville-Bennion Heritage Center is reopening on a limited basis. Hours will be 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays only, until the governor moves the state to "green" in its fight against the novel coronavirus. The museum asks that groups of no more than 6 people come together, to allow for physical distancing. Visitors also are asked to wear masks.
The Millrace Dog Park, Taylorsville Skate Park, playgrounds and pickleball courts have all reopened but park-goers are asked to still practice social distancing.
Phased Reopening of Library
Salt Lake County has begun a step-by-step reopening of its library branches, including the Taylorsville Library.
Book drops are now open for patrons to begin returning materials, including books, DVDs and CDs. Starting May 26, patrons can arrange for curbside delivery of materials placed on hold, by reserving a pickup time at any branch, either online or by calling customer service. The County Library is planning to continue a phased reopening of branches for the public by early July.
Taylorsville City Council Meeting
City Council meetings have resumed at City Hall but if you do not wish to attend in person, you may still comment by email. Please submit this comment form to the City Council at email@example.com at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting at 6:30 p.m. You may also access City Council meetings via live-stream. As always, meeting agendas are posted online here.