Two businesses in a Utah County told employees to not follow quarantine guidelines and demanded infected workers continue to work, and 68 employees tested positive for coronavirus as a result, according to the Daily Herald.
In a Monday evening statement issued by Utah County Commissioners Tanner Ainge and two cities mayors in the county, Bill Lee and Nathan Ivie, the county identified two businesses that did not follow the public health guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak. One of them had 48 percent of its employees test positive for COVID-19.
“During the tracing contacts conducted by the Utah County Health Department and Utah Department of Health, we found these businesses instructed employees to not follow quarantine guidelines after exposure to a confirmed case at work and required employees with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis to still report to work,” the statement read. “This is completely unacceptable and resulted in a temporary full closure for one business along with heightened requirements for future cleaning and inspections.”
Carrie Bennet, chronic disease prevention program manager for the Utah County Health Department, said on Tuesday that the two businesses were identified through contact tracing, a method that monitors people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and tracks down other people who have been in close contact with them recently.
The names of the two businesses were not released, but the statement criticized them for jeopardizing “Utah County efforts to reopen businesses affected by the pandemic.”
Besides information about the two businesses that were not compliant with the pandemic guidelines, the official statement also announced best practice guidelines outlined by Governor Gary Herbert and public health officials, as the state transitions from high-risk red phase to moderate-risk orange phase.
The guidelines recommend continuing to work from home, wearing masks in public, and following hygiene standards for businesses and individuals.
“As we begin turning the dial to reopen the economy, we must strongly emphasize the importance of following these guidelines,” county executives said. “If we do not all work together to closely follow these guidelines, we could very easily slip back into a more restrictive state. We do not believe that anyone wants to move back to more restrictions on individuals and businesses.”
The statement said that the majority of the county’s businesses that remained open during the pandemic have been compliant with the guidelines.
According to data released by the Utah County Health Department, there are 1,171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.