TriCounty Health Officer on Enforcement of Governor’s Order
By Kristin Forbis, Nov 17, 2020
There are plenty of questions concerning the Governor’s new COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration and accompany orders. When it comes to businesses, the state’s Frequently Asked Questions page states that “businesses are expected to enforce mask requirements with their employees and to promote mask wearing to their patrons, and visibly post signage to that effect. Any business that does not comply with the requirements of the emergency order could face penalties, including loss of their businesses license...Local health departments and/or law enforcement agencies are authorized under state statute to enforce any element of a public health order.” TriCounty Health Officer Jordan Mathis has offered some clarification on the health department’s local approach to enforcement so far. “We have not issued any fines,” shares Mathis. “We have simply sent letters to businesses informing them of reported non-compliance with the order that we have received, often accompanied by photographs. These are reports from the public, not health department staff out enforcing,” continues Mathis. “The letter we send does inform them of the potential for a $10,000 dollar penalty associated with non-compliance of the order. This is an effort to address valid complaints while also educating businesses regarding their responsibilities in regard to the order.” For more information, visit www.tricountyhealth.com or www.coronavirus.utah.gov.