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5 bars temporarily closed for COVID-19 violations; 462 new cases reported

SHARE 5 bars temporarily closed for COVID-19 violations; 462 new cases reported

The Utah Department of Health building in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Five bars and clubs in downtown Salt Lake City were temporarily shut down by health officials over the weekend for failing to comply with public health orders and three other businesses were issued written warnings.

The violations were announced Monday as state health officials reported 462 new COVID-19 cases in Utah and two new deaths.

The five businesses that were given Notices of Violation and Orders of Restriction by the Salt Lake County Health Department are:

  • Echo Nightclub, 134 W. Pierpont Ave.
  • Karma Dance and Nightclub, 122 W. Pierpont Ave.
  • Lake Effect bar and restaurant, 155 W. 200 South
  • Twist Bar and Bistro, 32 Exchange Place
  • An establishment at 60 W. Market Street (formerly the New Yorker)

A statement from the Salt Lake County Health Department did not indicate which specific violations occurred at each business, but the state public health order requires that all employees and all customers wear face masks, including at entrances and exits; that a physical distance of at least 6 feet be maintained; and that household groups or parties be separated.

Health department spokesman Nicholas Rupp said a business can reopen after it provides a written plan that demonstrates how the owner will comply with and enforce the health orders to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Such plans from Lake Effect and Twist were approved Sunday so they were cleared to reopen, he said.

Echo, Lake Effect and Twist have previously received written warnings for not meeting state or county COVID-19 health requirements, and Echo received a previous Notice of Violation and Order of Restriction in September, according to Rupp.

Written warnings were also issued Saturday night to Soundwell music venue, 149 W. 200 South; Wasted Space Dance and Nightclub, 342 S. State; and London Belle Supper Club, 321 S. Main.

Twist was among 10 businesses in December to sue Utah’s governor and the head of its health department over a health order that cut off liquor sales at 10 p.m. That alcohol restriction was lifted days later.

With the increase of 462 cases since Sunday, there have now been 361,756 positive coronavirus cases in Utah during the pandemic. The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 951 per day. 

So far, 2,125,510 people have been tested, which is an increase of 3,313 people tested since Sunday.

However, the total number of tests conducted is 3,601,122, an increase of 6,644 tests since Sunday, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Currently, 274 people are being treated in hospitals with COVID-19. The total number of hospitalizations from the beginning of the outbreak is 14,209. 

The two deaths reported Monday are a Utah County man and a Weber County man. Both were between the ages of 65 and 84 and both were hospitalized when they died.

The health department also reported that 525,033 total vaccines have been administered so far, which is an increase of 1,033 from the day before.

Vaccine appointments in Salt Lake County

Monday night, the Salt Lake County Health Department said it has open appointments available for anyone 70 or older who lives in the county, thanks to additional vaccines provided this week.

Seniors can schedule online at SaltLakeHealth.org, or they can call 385-468-7468. The phone number is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The vaccine appointments are available at the Salt Palace, 100 S. West Temple, with free parking at the garage entrance at 180 W. 200 South, and at the Mountain America Expo Center, 9575 S. State.