Guest editorial: Park City’s elected officals say COVID-19 is a test but community is ready
Park City, we are in for a trying time. COVID-19 has landed in our community. While this is not unexpected and our Summit County and Utah State Health Departments have been preparing for what was viewed as inevitable, this will be a meaningful test of our community resources, resiliency and connectedness. Headlines from around the World, declarations by Health Organizations, isolation and quarantining of areas may be valid reasons for concern, still we urge Park City to stay strong, positive and proactive, look for ways to help and support your neighbors, and understand that we are in this together.
The greatest current risks are:
• Community spread. We currently have isolated cases of COVID-19 in Summit County. The best possible outcome is to limit the spread within the community by aggressively practicing social distancing and being diligent with personal hygiene. If feeling ill, self-quarantine and do not expose others to the contagion. Please visit http://www.summitcounty.org/coronavirus for comprehensive details on specific steps you can take.
• The possibility of overwhelming our health care facilities, providers and workers with too many sick people all at once. There will be people who get this illness, so the best outcome is to spread the need for treatment over a longer period, so as not to have too many ill in a condensed timeframe. Avoiding community spread is the best possibility, delaying spread is the next best.
• Forgetting we are a connected community comprised of people and families of differing means and unequal access to many services, such as health and child care, many of us take for granted. An economic shock to our tourist-based economy will have a disproportionate impact on our service workers as well as those who own and run local businesses. Please look for ways to support our community and those in need. Buy local, be generous! Also, hoarding is a consequence of panic and this is not a time for panic. Please consider the broader community impacts of hoarding disinfectants and household items.
Seniors and people with compromised respiratory and immune systems face the greatest health risk from COVID-19 so pay attention to those you know who may most be at risk. They may not want to leave their homes due to possible exposure, so see if you can offer assistance, support, and please check on your neighbors.
Our city’s financial position is robust, with current resources to sustain services and workers during what is now an expected shock to our economy. Contingency and resiliency plans have been developed and are ready to be implemented if necessary. To see ongoing measures by the city, please visit http://www.parkcity.org/covid-19.
We are faced with a significant local health crisis but it is one we can, and will, navigate. There are measures to take and personal behaviors we can adjust to minimize the impacts and risk which will benefit us individually as well as collectively. We appreciate those companies and organizations that have already postponed events to help slow the disease’s spread. It is paramount to support each and every member of our community family to the best of our ability.
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