Wasatch County Manager Shares Thoughts On ‘Stay At Home’ Order

Wasatch County’s decision to issue a “Stay at Home” order was influenced by Summit County.

Wasatch County Manager Mike Davis says the high rate of COVID-19 cases helped the county make the difficult decision to issue the ‘Stay at Home’ order.

“Our rate of infected individuals is in the top 50 in the United States for our population, in the state we’re only second to Summit County,” Davis continued. “So, we’ve worked very closely with Summit County and we felt that the two of us together implementing similar type health orders can better prevent the spread of this virus or at least slow it down to the extent possible.”

Davis said ahead of issuing the county ‘Stay at Home’ order they sought input from municipality leaders and business leaders in the community.

“Recognizing that they would take a significant hit with their employees and business not operating at the full levels. Surprisingly we got very good support from the local businesses wanting to get through this as quickly as possible,” Davis explained. “Recognizing that if we can bring things down early on that could help us get back to normal later on. So, there was a lot of cooperation—of course, there are some that don’t agree, and I understand that—but mostly we’ve received positive feedback.”

Davis says reaction to the order has mostly been positive and points out the county has already seen how following the ‘Stay at Home’ order has worked for Wasatch High students. Nearly 2,400 students were placed into social isolation for two weeks after a student tested positive for the virus.

“That’s a difficult population to understand and be able to work with,” Davis said. “They basically had a stay at home order from the very beginning for them. We were so pleased with how well they worked at it. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough we only have one other individual right now that has the virus in that age group. So, we’re kind of excited that worked that well. So, we’ve got to get people to stay at home as best they can and keep their distance and we can calm this down.”

The county will be monitoring the effectiveness of the order and re-evaluating, although it can take two weeks to know the effectiveness of the order because of the virus incubation period. Davis said the county could modify or relax or increase restrictions depending on what they see. He says the county does not plan to have sheriff’s deputies issue citations now or in the future.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about that,” Davis continued. “That’s a very extreme type of position we feel. Certainly, there may be recommendations, if they were to run into a large group of people, they may suggest to them that they really ought to split up. But we’re not going to be issuing citations at this point.”

At the Wednesday meeting council also passed an ordinance to expand their ability to hold electronic meetings.

“Previously we had to have a (council member) present at a meeting to be able to have remote connections and this allows for all the participants to be remotely connected,” Davis explained. “That was our first meeting, we’ve got a little bit of work to do on that. We want to be able to have the public be able to give us input during those meetings so that when we get to regular type of business we can have public input whether it’s land-use or whatever it is.”

Public comments for upcoming meetings are being accepted via email to [email protected] , the agenda is usually posted a few days before a Wednesday council meeting. Davis says the electronic meeting ordinance can be repealed but it does not have a sunset date.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.