COVID-19 Information for Employers and Employees
Change to COVID-19 Health Guidelines and Two Week Public Health Order
On 10/13/20 the state of Utah introduced the COVID-19 Transmission Index which replaces the former color-coded phased guidelines.
The transmission index clarifies the public health metrics used to determine which counties are placed in which transmission level. Counties will be placed in one of three transmission levels: High, Moderate, or Low. These levels correspond directly to case rates, positivity rates, and ICU utilization.
Data will be analyzed weekly, and counties will be placed into a transmission level depending solely on what their data show. Changes from a lower level to a higher level may occur weekly. Changes from a higher level to a lower level may occur every 14 days at minimum, when thresholds are met.
The data helps us understand the real risk of transmission in our communities. Important health behaviors, based on epidemiology and medical science, are outlined at each level to protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19.
For more information and the public health metrics go to coronaviru.utah.gov
Public Health Order through 10/29/2020
All transmission levels require masks be worn at gatherings, public indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing is not feasible; this includes both employees and patrons.
The following programs have been awarded more money, extended deadlines, or reduced restrictions.
“Safe In Utah”: Grant increased to $250 per employee.
- This funding is to improve workplace safety for workers and customers. By August 31, 2020, GOED must award at least 75% of grant funds to small businesses of 250 or fewer full-time equivalent employees. For more information visit: https://business.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-ppe-support-grant-program/.
Commercial Rental and Mortgage Assistance:
- Name changed to include mortgage
- Eased restrictions and guidelines
- Opens the program up to landlords to apply on behalf of their tenants
- Expanded a program of forgivable loans to Utah’s oil, gas and mining companies
- For more information and other changes visit: https://le.utah.gov/~2020S6/bills/static/SB6009.html
Utah Legislature ELIMINATES state income tax
- On PPP grants and CARES Act funding
- Lawmakers approve new coronavirus aid, elections changes in special session
Shop In Utah: Awarded additional $31 million
- Applications open September 11, 2020
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- The EIDL is still open and accepting new applications for eligible businesses
- More than 21,000 EIDL loans have been approved in the state of Utah for a dollar value of $1.3 billion
- Apply Here
The $5 million Safe In Utah initiative uses federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It includes grants for a business’s COVID-19 response that consists of the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), implementation of workplace redesigns, additional signage, new technology solutions for distance working, and other items to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines on safely returning employees to work.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), at the Legislature’s request, administers the program.
Safe In Utah begins accepting applications on July 20, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (MDT). By August 31, 2020, GOED must award at least 75% of grant funds to small businesses of 250 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. The program is designed to help Utah small businesses primarily.
Cache County Coronavirus Relief Funding Application
The purpose of these funds is to provide ready funding to address unforeseen financial needs and risk created by the COVID19 public health emergency. This application is available to all Cache County non-profit entities and all businesses headquartered in Cache
Utah’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
Economic recovery resources and additional programs. https://business.utah.gov/coronavirus/
Utah Coronavirus Resource Hub
UPDATES ON 6/18/2020
Note from David L. Flood, President, Intermountain Foundation:
Today, we are witnessing challenges of historic proportions. The consequences wrought by a global health crisis, social injustices, and a weakened economy have reverberated across our society in ways that were unimaginable just a few months ago. But through crisis, there is an opportunity to build character, to remember what’s important, and to be grateful for the things we’ve accomplished together. As we reflect back on what we were able to accomplish in 2019 alone, it reinforces just how important your support is in helping us respond to some of the most pressing health challenges of our time. That’s why I’m proud to present you with Intermountain Healthcare’s 2019 Report to the Community: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/annual-report-2019/
This year’s Report explores how combining powerful ideas with inspired people like you has advanced the delivery of health and healthcare across our region, and even across the world. You’ll be able to see how Intermountain Healthcare has been a bold leader in patient safety, quality, patient experience, growth, innovation, access, children’s health, and affordability. Most of all, you’ll be able to see how your contributions ignite positive change in our communities, and offer a bright beacon of hope for the future.We sincerely thank you for helping us meet our profound responsibility to help people live their healthiest lives possible, and look forward to what’s next.
David L. Flood, President, Intermountain Foundation
SVP/Chief Development Officer, Intermountain Healthcare
As we track the COVID-19 situation, would like to inform you of the latest from the Bear River Health Department because of largest spike in COVID-19 cases in Cache Valley since the pandemic has started. Today there were 185 NEW cases reported in Cache County. Please see the full press release or the summary below the link.
- Lab results have just started coming in from a mass testing event held last weekend.
- Due to the delay in results, we expect to see a significant increase in cases over the next few days.
- We are still seeing cases throughout the community as well.
- Our staff is working diligently to get ahead of this outbreak and we have requested assistance from UDOH, local health departments, the Utah National Guard, and the CDC.
- Community members must do their part to help control the spread. We can only be effective in our efforts if each individual assumes personal responsibility. This means stay home when you’re sick, practice social distancing, wear a face covering when social distancing is difficult, and wash your hands often.
A Letter from Julianne Larsen, Cache County Suicide Prevention Coalition
With the outbreak of COVID, and in response to the physical, financial, emotional, familial, spiritual, and economic issues that have come from it, there is a possibility of an increase in suicide with at-risk groups. Here is some information about why gun safety could help prevent someone from using lethal force to end their lives.
85% of suicides in Utah are completed with the use of a gun. Studies show that if you can slow or delay the attempted suicide with a gun lock, safe, holding the person’s ammunition, or keeping part of their weapon for them, they have a better chance of survival. In other words, putting time + distance from the weapon helps the survival rate go up.
That is why Cache County Suicide Prevention Coalition along with Intermountain Health Care (IHC) are partnering to provide FREE gun locks to gun owners, along with helpful information on how to help someone in need. IHC has provided me with plenty of FREE gun locks and information. I am happy to deliver some pamphlets and locks to you if you’d like to keep a few on hand.
Leaders are sometimes are told in confidence when someone is having suicidal ideation. That is a heavy burden and knowing there is help, and how to get them help, is key. If you are comfortable having some information and/or gun locks on hand for anyone in this situation, you may slow someone down long enough to save a life.
Also, anyone can ask for information and/or a gun lock at any of the Intermountain Community Pharmacies. IHC has also created a new hotline for people experiencing distress due to COVID. That number is: 1-833-442-2211 Hours from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Don’t forget the Suicide Prevention/Crisis Hotline is: 1-800-273-(TALK)8255.
If you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Tiny Request
How is the Chamber doing? Are we doing a good job keeping you informed? Are our newsletters and emails useful? Are you following our Social Media? Is the Chamber helping your business? Your opinion truly does matter to us and others pay attention to what you say.
Please give us a review or send us a testimonial. It helps us get the word out about how the Chamber can help others and helps keep Cache Valley businesses moving forward. Hop on Facebook or Google and leave us a review or just email a short testimonial about how we help your business.
Thank you from all of us here at Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce!
Opening back up?
Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce has produced a great guide to help you open safely and keep in compliance with state guidelines. Feel free to download and share so we can all stay healthy as we get back to business. It is full of pages of really important information for you. Go to: https://bit.ly/2z1ehrz #CacheValleyStrong
COVID Resources for businesses and employers. Two updates have been posted at this site since we last listed this resource:
Did you miss our Chamber’s May Virtual Leadership Lunch?
Our guests were Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Jared Riplinger, Cook Martin Poulson, CPAs. If you missed it, here is the recording: https://youtu.be/O_joMUunT48
Utahns might lose health insurance because of coronavirus layoffs Here’s how to get coverage (from The Salt Lake Tribune): https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2020/05/21/utahns-might-lose/
Residential Rental Assistance Program Has Launched
DWS program targets renters impacted by COVID-19 and not receiving other assistance https://jobs.utah.gov/department/press/2020/051120.html
Department of Workforce Services (DWS)
Unemployment Insurance statistics for Utah & Cache County https://public.tableau.com/profile/utah.lmi#!/vizhome/InitialClaims_15852361307780/Historical
Local Department of Workforce Services (DWS) contacts
The Logan DWS phone number: (435) 792-0599
The Brigham DWS office phone number: (435) 695-2625
DWS also information pages with resources available regarding Unemployment Insurance, Child Care and Food Assistance for those whose business and employment may be impacted by COVID-19. There is also a link to Unemployment Insurance FAQs for employers. You may access information either on the homepage of jobs.utah.gov or you can visit Employer and Employee Resources.
Cache Private Sector Resilience Group (PSRG)
The Cache PSRG in conjunction with Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce and Utah ‘Be Ready Business’ will bring subject matter experts to the community to teach and train on the necessary points of a Business Continuity Plan. Continuity Plans are like backup parachutes – hardly ever needed but you don’t want to operate without one. And COVID-19 is an example of why businesses need a business continuity plan.
We will be meeting each quarter now. The next meeting will be Thursday, July 9, from 9:00-9:30 AM. Each meeting different related topics will be discussed, including guest speakers. Invite your vendors. Invite your customers. Let’s help each other! We’ll give webinar or in-person details in June. To see more about Cache PSRG and some extremely helpful graphics, go to https://www.facebook.com/cachepsrg/
Checkout Bear River Health District (BRHD) updates
Especially see the “Utah’s Moderate Risk Phase” and “Face Mask” sections. Many other business and personal resources and updates are there as well: https://brhd.org/coronavirus/
Webinars relating to businesses during COVID have been moved to our online calendar at: http://business.cachechamber.com/events/calendar
Help the Girl Scouts!
The Girl Scouts had to shut down their sales, and troops and the state were left with over 87,000 boxes of unsold cookies. You can have them shipped right to your door or donate them. Help them out at:
Self-Employed Individuals – Applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are now available to you if you:
- are self-employed or working in the gig economy, or
- lack sufficient work history to qualify for traditional unemployment benefits, or
- are employed by an organization exempt from unemployment taxes, such as religious institutions, or
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a member of their household that has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Be aware that you will have to share your tax returns to take advantage of this potential opportunity. For details go to: https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19 Then go to “Am I Eligible” for normal unemployment – if you aren’t, then you may apply for PUA.
Intermountain Healthcare Video Appointments
To keep both you and our caregivers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our providers are now offering appointments via video. This may allow you to have face-to-face consultations with your provider from home, without the need to come to our facility in-person. Visits can be held on your smart phone, tablet or computer. Video visits are covered the same as in-clinic appointments by most insurance plans. Call your provider today to see if a video visit will work for you. Once scheduled, you will receive an email with the details of your upcoming appointment including when the visit is scheduled, how to connect and how to prepare for your visit.
Our clinics are open! Our team can help determine which appointment type is right for you. Learn more about video visits at:
A Message from Intermountain Logan Regional Hospital
This is valuable information – their COVID preparations, our community report, how the CARES act benefits you, ProjectProtect, and much more.
See these links for more details about Utah business resources:
Message Chamber Valley Chamber of Commerce to all businesses “Why is Chamber Membership Important?” When the news cycle and society starts throwing around blanket definitions of which roles are “essential,” many start considering what things are of greatest value. A chamber of commerce is a unique thing. Many people think we are a city, probably tax-funded entity. Not true. Many people think we are a marketing agency. Not true, although we do provide marketing services. Many people think we are local event planners. Not our main focus, although we do believe our community is enriched by having regular activities to enjoy. At Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce we are customer service professionals. We exist to serve our business members, school districts, individual members, nonprofit partners, and the residents and visitors of Cache Valley.
- We provide word of mouth referrals on a daily basis.
- We manage a social media presence with broad reach.
- We create networking connections and new partnerships.
- We help your granddad find the phone number he didn’t find in the yellow pages.
- We help Cache Valley businesses get their products overseas.
- We mail information packets out of state to businesses who are interested in relocating here, and we encourage them to stay in our local hotels and order our favorite menu items from local restaurants.
- We help newcomers settle in by giving them useful resources accompanied by a sincere warm welcome to the community.
- We are an information hub, the small town 411.
- We work closely with city leaders, local merchants, State agencies, Small Business Development Centers and more to stay “in the know” of things that could benefit or damage our communities.
- We are in a constant state of event planning, and are regularly brainstorming new things for families and businesses to do– because the truth is, if nobody enjoys living in and visiting our communities, our businesses will not thrive the way we want to see them thrive.
If you ask us “Why is chamber membership important?” we are like a gym membership – the more ways you choose to use your membership, the more benefit you will see. No two people will use the exact same combination of equipment, because we recognize that different members are seeking different results. Overall, like a gym, a Chamber cultivates a healthier community. A chamber is many things. We are flexible and ever evolving, because that’s what it takes to be forward thinking and relevant. We offer a mix of tangible benefits and intangible benefits to our members, but a vibrant chamber is GOOD for a vibrant community. Before you dismiss a chamber of commerce as non-essential for your business, please consider that chambers are essential for community. Supporting your chamber is doing something for yourself– helping to build the quality of life in the communities where you live, work and play. That’s essential. Warm Regards, All the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce staff
Utah State delaying tax deadline Just like the IRS, the state has moved the tax deadline to July 15, 2020. See https://tax.utah.gov/ for more details.
Give Blood Schedule an appointment now to give in the days ahead to help patients counting on lifesaving blood throughout this pandemic. Utah faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. While coronavirus has caused concerns about whether it’s safe to give blood, donation centers have implemented thorough safety protocols to make the blood donation process even safer. Learn more about blood donations and other ways you can help.
A Message from Intermountain Healthcare’s President and CEO There is valuable information in this link – please use it as a reference. Included in this are community testing sites, a testing decision graphic, virtual classes, and much more.
Equipment donations needed and opportunities to volunteer Three legislators who are also doctors are urging businesses who use personal protective equipment to donate N95 face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment. Sign up to donate your unopened, commercial supplies at coronavirus.utah.gov/help/. That same site offers opportunities to volunteer.
Childcare for working parents https://www.sltrib.com/news/2020/03/22/utahs-working-parents/
Unemployment Insurance for companies
Temporary Sick Leave Form
Gossner Foods created for their employees and you may wish to consider something like it:
Temporary Sick Leave Request Form
Resources for Employees Affected by Layoffs
The Department of Workforce Services has created an information page with resources available regarding Unemployment Insurance, Child Care and Food Assistance for those whose business and employment may be impacted by COVID-19. There is also a link to Unemployment Insurance FAQs for employers. You may access information either on the homepage of jobs.utah.gov or you can visit Employer and Employee Resources.
Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force
The Utah Department of Health is actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19), and Governor Gary Herbert has established the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, to facilitate and disseminate information, marshal resources, and ensure an appropriate response to a potential outbreak in Utah. Individuals and families have been urged to prepare themselves and work within their communities to prevent the spread of disease. Steps recommended by the Utah Department of Health include:
- Avoid non-essential travel to China.
- Avoid travel and contact with other people if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
More information—particularly concerning treatment for the coronavirus are available through the Utah Department of Health.
The Chamber and the Utah Business Community
This web page will serve as an interactive resource and while its focus will be on businesses – large and small – as well as entrepreneurs and others related to Utah’s private sector, it is available to anyone seeking information, and we encourage you to use it as part of a complete set of tools that include:
- The Utah Department of Health (UDH)
- The United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The University of Utah Department of Public Safety
- Intermountain Healthcare
- Utah Department of Workforce Services
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce – National news
Best Business Practices
The highest priority of any business is to protect the health, safety, and life of employees and clients. Every decision emanates from that single objective, including guidelines employees have within their places of business, the flexibility and encouragement they are given to attend to their own health needs — as well as those of their families — and a supportive workplace environment that has considered and prepared for disruptions in services, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and supply chains.
While many, if not most, businesses may never experience an incident of coronavirus on their premises, almost all will feel the effects of the illness if only through disruptions in the stock market; a break in the supply chain; legitimate concerns among employees; and shortages of pharmaceuticals, health care supplies, and other resources that may be required for needs unrelated to coronavirus, or that may leave a company unprepared for subsequent emergencies. These are best addressed by advance planning, considering the resources and best practices that encourage healthy engagement and behaviors within the business environment, at the employee’s home, and support throughout the community.
Best practices encouraged by business and health care experts separate into two categories, those who are not feeling well or suspect they have the coronavirus and those who are feeling well and need to take precautions.
Those who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus or who are not feeling well should:
- Be actively encouraged to remain at home except to receive health care.
- Stay separate and apart from individuals and animals within the home.
- Call the doctor before visiting to describe symptoms and receive instructions.
- Wear a face mask in public and among household companions.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean hands and wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Avoid sharing household items.
- Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day.
- Have clothing and bedding washed as frequently as possible.
- Monitor symptoms and inform healthcare professionals, particularly if they worsen.
- Confirm illness and contagion have passed before returning to work or public engagement.
- CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Those who are feeling well and have no reason to believe they have been exposed to coronavirus should proceed as they would during any cold and flu season:
- Perform hand hygiene frequently.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Try to remain in open spaces with good air flow.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, and clothing items with workmates.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, desk- and tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets, every day.
- Sanitize workspaces and public transportation areas like handles and stabilizing bars in subway cars, as well as arm rests and tray tables in buses, trains, and airplanes.
- Wash clothing regularly.
- Maintain a comfortable distance in conversations and tight working environment, such as two or more gathered around a computer.
- Consider replacing a handshake with a fist bump or friendly salute.
For additional information, please see Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Space for doctors: Many health systems are asking people to reschedule non-essential medical visits and call before visiting a walk-in clinic to allow medical staff to focus on the COVID-19 crisis. This is particularly important if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 because of the importance of protecting others from exposure.
State officials are encouraging everyone to take serious precautions, especially staying at least six-feet away from other people and staying home if showing any symptoms.
Best Practices for Restaurants and Retailers
Food service prohibitions — The Utah Department of Health has ordered ALL UTAH restaurants and bars to close their dining rooms, effective Wednesday, March 18, at 11:59 p.m. Take-out, delivery and grocery shopping is still permitted but with tighter rules.
Below are some best practices and tips gleaned from the efforts of local businesses and others around the country.
- Let the World Know You Are Open: If you are open, make sure the public knows about it. Share on social media and your other available channels.
- Share and Show Your Proactive Health Measures: Let customers know how you are maintaining a healthy environment. Promote it in your store and in the digital world. Customers want to be reassured that your business is a safe place. This may include how you are sanitizing public areas, ensuring your employees are healthy and providing tips for shoppers and patrons. Be conspicuous about cleaning. Make hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer obvious for customers. Check soap dispensers often and keep them supplied.
- Consider Curbside Pick-up and Meal Options for Customers Practicing “Social Distancing”: Promote carry-out and delivery options that your customers can use to enjoy your products and prepared food at home.
- No Sick Employees: Take extra measures to ensure your employees only come to work healthy. Monitor and incentivize employees’ health and healthy practices. Require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, fever, cold, or flu, or have traveled to regions where the virus has been active. Some employers are adjusting PTO and compensation policies. Many are creating work-at-home policies. A sick team is more expensive than making accommodations for a potentially sick team member.
- Payment Processing: When possible, encourage contactless payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or tap to pay credit cards. If cash is necessary, it is recommended you use gloves to handle transactions, changing them regularly to avoid contamination.
- Surface and Equipment Sanitation: Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects, including countertops and tables, point-of-sale systems, doorknobs, faucet handles, and menus. This practice may need to be completed more frequently than normal. As a reminder, sanitizing solution should be changed at least once every four hours.
- Handwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing: Yes, it’s Prevention 101. It is proven that the best method is to wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is helpful but not as effective as proper handwashing.
- Contain Coughing and Sneezing: Provide tissues in prominent locations for employees and customers. Include readily-accessible, no-touch disposal receptacles. Employees should wash hands immediately after coughing or sneezing, especially when food service is involved. Avoid touching your face as much as possible.