SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is proposing $1,000 checks for every American. This comes amid the shutdown of bars, restaurants and resorts in many places in the country, including some of Utah’s most popular areas.
Salt Lake County restaurants will close to diners late Monday, though takeout and food delivery will still be available, according to officials who declared a public-health emergency. Grocery stores will remain open, though any seating areas will close.
Romney, meanwhile, wants to send out one-time checks to help families meet their own short-term needs and bolster the economy, similar to actions Congress took during recessions in 2001 and 2008, he said in a statement. He’ll push that and other proposals, like temporary required coverage of remote telehealth services, as discussions continue about additional coronavirus relief, he said.
The proposals come after the closure of ski resorts and the announcement that a bartender in Park City tested positive for coronavirus, marking the first community spread in the state.
That case and the fact that Park City is a major tourist destination played into the closure decision, said Summit County Health Officer Rich Bullough. That raises the risk of transmission from people bringing it in as well as tourists potentially leaving and spreading elsewhere.
Health officials in three neighboring counties — Uintah, Daggett and Duchesne — asked people to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the area on Monday.
The closure is in place until April 16, Summit County health officials said.
Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City are among other places that have ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service.
In Utah, 28 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of Sunday night, according to state health officials. There have been no deaths.
The coronavirus, deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization, infected more than 150,000 people and killed over 5,700. The disease for most people causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness. The vast majority recover.