PROVO, Utah – A video of a packed dance party in Provo last week has gone viral online, with many people wondering why the Utah County Health Department did not shut it down.
The department, however, said the event was technically legal.
There were fewer than 1,000 people at the event — meaning the organizers did not need to get a permit — and there is no mask mandate in Utah County.
But department spokeswoman Aislynn Tolman-Hill said they are still unhappy about seeing hundreds of young people dancing close together without wearing masks.
“This event was [attended by] 1,000 people or less, so they were actually not required to get a permit. We would just reinforce that,” Tolman-Hill said. “Be extremely, extremely careful to make sure that you maintain that safe space of six feet around you.”
Tolman-Hill said events like this could make it more difficult for contact tracers if someone does get infected with COVID-19 because of all the additional people they have to find.
“It doesn’t really matter what the event actually is,” Tolman-Hill said. “When you have people together and they’re not able to maintain ‘safe six’ feet, it really does make our jobs so much harder.”
However, she advised if someone does get sick with COVID-19 to be honest with their contact tracer — noting they would not be there to judge that person’s actions.
Tolman-Hill said she thinks the party is also a good reminder for people to mask up and stay six feet apart when they can.
“If you can’t be sure that you can maintain your physical distancing from other people, we really don’t recommend that you go somewhere,” Tolman-Hill said. “Because you really can’t protect yourself that way.”
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