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Park City leaders slated to receive coronavirus briefing, timed as ski season nears

Summit County health director scheduled to discuss situation with mayor, City Council

The Marsac Building.
Park Record file photo

Park City leaders are scheduled to receive a briefing on Thursday from the Summit County health director about the state of the novel coronavirus, an important discussion City Hall leaders earlier in the month signaled they wanted to hold with concerns persisting into the fall.

Phil Bondurant’s appearance at a Park City Council meeting is slated less than two months before the scheduled opening of the ski season and as the community remains busy into the shoulder season. Officials are concerned about the continued transmission of the illness in the Park City area, statewide and on a national basis.

The County Courthouse, in consultation with the state Department of Health, is responsible for public health policies and measures. Summit County health officials like Bondurant work closely with City Hall, but it is the county rather than the city that sets policies, such as those concerning mask mandates.



Bondurant was the No. 2 figure in the Health Department during much of the pandemic before ascending to the top post late in the summer after the retirement of his predecessor, Rich Bullough. Bondurant has held a key role throughout the pandemic.

Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Council in early September expressed renewed concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. That discussion was unscheduled, though, and the elected officials indicated they wanted to hold further talks in a more formal setting. The meeting scheduled on Thursday is expected to be more detailed than the earlier one.



The elected officials during the previous meeting were worried about topics like transmission rates, the number of coronavirus cases among youngsters and the increases in patients who were being treated in intensive-care units.

Steve Joyce, a member of the City Council, was especially vocal during the earlier meeting, saying he was becoming worried as he argued “big action” should be taken at a moment when, instead, he saw that “we’re doing nothing, really.” Another member of the City Council, Becca Gerber, said cases among young people had climbed quickly, creating a “terrifying” scenario with the winter nearing.

City Hall staffers did not draft any reports or communications for the elected officials in anticipation of Bondurant’s appearance. The Park Record was unable to contact the health director early in the week regarding the appearance.

It seems likely the mayor and City Council will discuss topics like transmission rates, the ongoing public health efforts and, possibly, a renewed mask mandate of some sort. Gerber at the earlier meeting said she had been approached by businesses asking for the government to institute one.

Any talk of a mask mandate like the one that was in place earlier in the pandemic would almost certainly attract attention from the private sector and the broader community since enacting such a rule would impact such a large swath of Park City.

The Park City area is readying for what will be the third ski season of the coronavirus era, and the timing of the discussion on Thursday is important with a variety of business sectors entering the crucial weeks of preparation for the winter. The meeting is also timed just three days after Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts outlined the firm’s blueprints to combat the spread of the sickness during the ski season, including a requirement that employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and will be held virtually. The elected officials are slated to take public input. More information is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link to the agenda is: granicus_production_attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/parkcity/8c5635d7df660a79268c7fa33c9d12100.pdf.


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