Angie’s restaurant was among many Cache Valley eateries closing it's doors this morning ahead of a state-mandated deadline for all restaurants and bars to shut down their dining areas.
Adam Lowther, a long-time shift manager at Angie’s, told The Herald Journal the decision was made first-thing Wednesday morning as employees were arriving to work.
Customers driving into the parking lot were being met by waitresses to explain the situation. Angie's, possibly Cache Valley's busiest and most popular restauruant, is putting together a plan for take-out and delivery service, which it will notify customers about as the day progresses.
Loather said the wait staff will stay on for the time being, working on special projects, and cooks will be retained to fill orders.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert ordered statewide dine-in closures at restaurants, bars and other eateries Tuesday while health officials in the national parks hot spot of Moab halted new overnight tourists to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
The steps came as the number of statewide cases grew to more than 50. Herbert said he was “very sorry” for the disruption to business and jobs, but “convinced this will save many lives.” Restaurants can remain open for takeout, delivery and drive-thru.
The statewide order was to begin Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., following similar steps in Salt Lake City, Park City and other places.
Meanwhile, the health officials in southeastern Utah issued an order barring anyone except work travelers and locals from overnight lodging, including camping. Those already in hotels before Tuesday night can stay through the duration of their reservation.
Though diagnosed cases of the virus are mostly in the population-heavy northern part of the state so far, many people are still heading south to outdoor spaces amid widespread closures and calls for people to stay out of crowds.
While recreating outdoors alone may be a good outlet, congregating in popular and crowded spots could spread the virus, and the small Moab Regional Hospital isn't equipped to treat large numbers of people if they become sick, officials said.
Authorities also closed restaurants, except for takeout, and other public places like theaters and gyms in Grand, Carbon and Emery Counties.
The order came a day after the local hospital staff pleaded with the governor to reduce tourist traffic in the city that's home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.