Park City mayor: ‘Please, please, please be patient’ with coronavirus restrictions
Park City Mayor Andy Beerman on Thursday evening indicated the broad community restrictions designed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus could be relaxed in some fashion within weeks, a statement that will likely be welcomed as Parkites continue to endure significant disruptions to their everyday lives.
The mayor offered the comments during a Park City Council meeting on Thursday, another one that was held remotely to keep a crowd from gathering in the same room at the Marsac Building.
Beerman did not speak in any detail and instead seemed to design the comments as words of encouragement to rank-and-file Parkites who have remained home for long stretches, been laid off or furloughed and may have suffered damaged psyches as the weeks wore on.
Beerman said the novel coronavirus cases in the community “appear to be plateauing at the moment.” The plateau, he said, is a result of being “disciplined as a community.”
“And I just want to encourage people and remind them it feels like we’re making progress. It’s going to get nice outside. We’re all starting to get a little tired of looking at the inside of homes and our walls, and our world’s feeling small. But we need you to stay at home for a few more weeks. We need you to stay calm and we need you to stay patient,” Beerman said.
He said there is a risk of reversing the progress that has been made in halting the spread of the illness if people move toward normalcy more quickly than they should.
“The last thing we want to do is go through the sacrifice and undo it by coming out too early, when we don’t have the proper measures in place and we’re not doing a good job with tracking and testing just yet,” Beerman said. “Please, please, please be patient. We will get through this. We only have a few more weeks to go until we can start loosening things up and getting back to life that’s going to feel a little more familiar.”
He said Parkites have “hung in there well” and the results reflect the efforts.
“We just need you to stick in there and stay disciplined for a little bit longer,” Beerman said.
Another Park City elected official, City Councilor Steve Joyce, also addressed the issue on Thursday, saying the community is easing toward the next steps. He noted the progress after the Park City area earlier was one of the coronavirus hotspots.
“Just a shout out to the people in Park City and Summit County in general. I don’t know if everybody’s been watching, but the last three days on new COVID cases we were zero new cases, zero new cases, two new cases,” Joyce said. “And for a place that was (the) third worst county in the entire United States, we are rocking it. This is where you really see all that hard work and hunkering down in the houses and social distancing and all that stuff, it’s paying off. It’s paying off in spades.”
Even without details from the mayor or Joyce, Parkites will likely be pleased with the comments on Thursday as people across the community anticipate the reopening of Park City. The timeline remains unclear and largely depends on the health situation, but there is hope Park City will essentially be reopened by the middle of June, as the summer-tourism season starts. The Summit County Health Department this week indicated the reopening of businesses willing to adhere to numerous restrictions could start in the middle of May.
City Hall holds a key role in the ongoing talks about crafting plans for the reopening of the community as well as the efforts to boost the economy at a time when there are worries tourism could drop amid the concerns about the illness and the economic havoc the novel coronavirus has caused. The talks are expected to unfold in various venues in coming months.
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