More than 100 Silicon Slopes leaders were on a call this afternoon regarding COVID19 to ensure our community is coordinating with local and federal officials during this time. We are lucky to live in Utah. Our elected and state officials are working tirelessly to combat the spread of Coronavirus in our state. Silicon Slopes stands ready to work with the state of Utah to keep our employees, our community, and our beloved Beehive State safe and prepared.
Senator Mitt Romney, Lieutenant Governor & Utah Coronavirus Task Force Chair Spencer Cox, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Representative John Curtis, Representative Chris Stewart, and Attorney General Sean Reyes were among the officials on the call today.
Summary & Action Items:
- Silicon Slopes is in a unique position to coordinate the resources and efforts of companies who want to provide private-sector assistance and will provide additional information to companies and help lead the private-sector effort with qualified charitable organizations
- Senator Romney: regular briefings from CDC and others indicate that as a nation we are not nearly as prepared as we should be for this pandemic, a result of decades of policy. Please share what the federal government can do to assist the conditions here in Utah - eyes on the ground are critical and tech companies in Utah are on the front lines.
- LG Cox: Utah is still in far better shape than other states, but is taking action today to “flatten the curve” and minimize impact in our state. Want to mimic more of the Asian response to the virus and less of the European response
- Recommendations Issued By Task Force to Limit Spread of COVID-19
- Employees trust their employers and their church more than almost any other institutions. It is critical that employees get accurate and complete information from employers.
- Silicon Slopes will help spread the word on its channels and provide recommendations on messaging to employees
- This is not “just like the flu.” So far, it is much more serious and deadly. Important to dispel lax approach.
- Working from home is now officially recommended wherever possible - many Utah companies have already enacted these protocols.
- School closings: many CEOs are concerned about the spread via public schools. Utah is currently not recommending closure of all schools but the state is working with all districts to prepare for that eventuality. Not rushing to make this call because of the ripple effects:
- A significant number of children depend upon school for 2 meals a day
- When schools close, parents in key first-responder and healthcare roles are pulled away from their posts
- Testing is still limited but ARUP and University of Utah have tests up and running. Intermountain’s is being certified. Should shortly be able to 1,000 tests a day. 200 tests a day by next week. Drive-through option seems to be preferred. Messaging from the task force continues to encourage self-quarantine with any cold or flu symptoms and consulting with physicians over the phone before going to healthcare facilities for testing to risk minimizing exposure to other patients and healthcare workers