Park City partying continues amid coronavirus spread and at a sensitive time |

Park City partying continues amid coronavirus spread and at a sensitive time

The Park City Police Department since the middle of September has responded to a series of complaints about parties, a type of call to the authorities that has been especially worrisome since the novel coronavirus started to spread in the area in the spring.

The police since the spring have received numerous complaints from people concerned about others not practicing social distancing or parties with lots of people gathered in close quarters. The recent cases, though, were logged months into the community’s efforts to curb the spread of the sickness and during the fall shoulder season, a time when the crowds in Park City typically wane from the summer.

Public police logs did not provide details about the recent parties, but the reports illustrate the concern is continuing well into the fall. The police logs did not include information about the number of people at the parties and whether the people were wearing masks at the time the officers arrived.

The concern about parties centers on the possibility of someone at a gathering spreading the coronavirus to the others there, possibly without realizing they had contracted the sickness before attending. The others could then spread the coronavirus even further, creating a scenario of one party being responsible for numerous cases.

There is also increased worry at this point about the timing of any spread of the illness in the Park City area. The ski season is scheduled to start in November with Park City Mountain Resort’s opening day with Deer Valley Resort following with a scheduled December opening. The spread of the sickness in March forced an early end to the most recent ski season.

The ski season is critical to the Park City-area economy, meaning the time until opening day is an especially sensitive period when a wide swath of the community will be closely watching the situation regarding the illness. Leaders continue to want people to take steps to guard against the spread of the sickness, like wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing.

The recent gatherings also were reported in the weeks after Summit County health officials attributed a string of coronavirus cases to a Park City party in August. The health officials said a sharp increase of diagnoses in mid-August could mostly be linked to the party, which was held inside a Park City business.

Park City has a long history of being a favored location for people from the Wasatch Front and other places in Utah to throw bashes in rental units, in addition to the Parkites who host their own gatherings.

The police typically classify the cases as suspected disturbing the peace. Some of the reports to the Police Department last week included:

• on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 10:48 p.m., the police received a complaint from someone on Three Kings Drive about a party. The police “can’t miss the noise,” dispatchers were told. Public police logs indicated the dispatcher who took the report “could hear the noise in the background while talking to the caller.”

• on Sept. 26 at 10:40 p.m., a party, described as “very loud,” was reported on Main Street. The police were told there were no managers at the location.

• on Friday, Sept. 25 at 10:05 p.m., a party was reported on Saddle View Way. There was loud music and screaming, the police were told.

• on Sept. 25 at 8:57 p.m., a party was reported on Queen Esther Drive. The police were told the people were close to a clubhouse and the scene was visible from Solamere.

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