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Utah server warns restaurants, workers face dire future after coronavirus

Restaurants and bars in Salt Lake County must follow the rules established in a public health order or face temporary closure. (Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — As restaurants ban in-house dining, an estimated 4 million eatery workers across the United States are facing layoffs as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the globe.

Restaurants hit hard by coronavirus response

Gov. Gary Herbert ordered all Utah restaurants, bars and food-service establishments to close all in-house dining operations. Restaurant employees constitute 8% of the state’s total workforce.

Sydney works for an area restaurant. Along with millions of others, her employment future in the hospitality industry is uncertain.

“A lot of servers could be out of a job in a month as the virus continues to spread. And it’s not slowing down,” she told KSL’s Jeff Caplan on his show.

What happens next?

She said the only communication from her job that she has received so far is this: Stay away.

She said there are some takeout-order shifts available at her workplace.

Sydney said she hasn’t been told anything about possible compensation in the next 30 days.

“She says the days ahead are going to be difficult,” Jeff said.

Sydney said this time of year is normally busy for her restaurant with the March Madness college basketball tournament. But that’s been canceled, along with the rest of the NBA season and playoffs.

“We’ll just have to see what happens, but I don’t see business booming back to normal when I get back to work,” Sydney said.

“I think people are still going to be really cautious about dining out…being around other people,” she said. “It could still be rough when we’re allowed to have patrons come back into the restaurant.”

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah:

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States