Heading into Utah? Be prepared for the questionnaire

11

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Utah officials want to keep the bug out of the Beehive State, and so to quell coronavirus, they’re asking folks crossing the border to fill out a health questionnaire. It all started April 9 when the state’s governor cranked out an order for it to all happen.

And happen it did! If you crossed into Utah by one of many major highway entry points, including I-15 from Arizona or I-84 from Idaho, and several other entries, your Emergency Alert equipped smartphone may have cranked out that ominous tone that signals imminent destruction. In this case, the signal was accompanied with a message, giving you a link to follow to fill out a health questionnaire.

The trouble is, it worked too well. Folks who weren’t even close to border entry points were getting this nagging message and, in turn, started nagging state officials to lay off. They have. As of April 13, the Emergency Alert System was turned off for these notices, and now drivers of all sorts will see flashing alert signs beside the highways and interstates asking them to log onto the appropriate website and fill out the form. While there’s no penalty for failure to fill out the e-form, the Governor says “good citizens” will surely want to comply.

What’s on the questionnaire and what does it do? In Utah’s own words, “These are extraordinary times, and Utah is taking extraordinary measures. The declaration form requests basic information about health status and travel, and the program serves to inform travelers about public orders and directives in Utah. It does not place any restrictions on travel, and drivers will not be stopped. This is an effort to stay aware of people in Utah who might be at risk for spreading COVID-19.”

“Basic information about health status,” does include a rundown on symptoms that might point to respondents who could possibly have coronavirus. For those that do indicate such symptoms, Utah health officials will indeed contact them and see to it that they are put in appropriate quarantine. So a heads-up: If you’ve got the symptoms, common sense would say you’ve already isolated yourself, and you won’t be traveling through Utah, or anyplace else. If you’re a society-safety-scoffer, be prepared when entering Utah. You may end up staying there longer than you intended.

Is anyone exempt from filling out the questionnaire? Yes: commercial truck drivers, emergency service folks, airline employees, but NOT RVers, unless of course you fall into those other categories. At this point, the questionnaire will be mandated for fill-out until May 1. The order applies to all who are over 18, and should be filled out within three hours of entering Utah.

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George
4 months ago

I live near Cedar City, UT and this approach is considered by all to be rather impotent. When you ask folks visiting from California if they completed the questionnaire, they just laugh. We live in a free society which requires its citizens to take responsibility and act accordingly. When faced with conditions that in any way restrict freedom of movement, our citizens will not only resist, but, will rebel to the point where acting with reasonable judgment is considered a weakness. Our freedom has been assured through the loss of life in conflicts all over the world. Perhaps more will be required to give their lives before our travelers begin to realize we are all soldiers on the front lines against an unseen enemy that does not recognize or respect political freedoms.

Alvin
4 months ago

A fool and his good sense are always far apart, and this situation the worlds people find themselves in collectively will bear that out. Coming or going through Utah, or heading full on to hell I warn travellers don’t dress in your best entering this war it is likely to get messier – long before it gets tidier. Liberty means responsibility, and if there’s ever been a time in our history to put that thought in play it is now.

Zonablue
4 months ago

While there’s no penalty for failure to fill out the e-form, the Governor says “good citizens” will surely want to comply.

What a crock. Translation: “Papers, please.” No freakin’ way am I going to submit to this obvious curtailment of my “freedom of movement.” This is not the USSR.

OverlandSprinter
4 months ago

Nothing on the spot testing can’t solve. in the words of the world’s most stable genius “Anybody that needs a test gets a test and the tests are beautiful.” Oops not true, false, and states are left to fend for themselves. (You Tube: Trump Anyone who wants virus test can get a test) Seems “some people” were calling this a hoax not too long ago.

Hot tip! Bucees for those who are familiar with where to fill up and get good fuel at the best price, has had disinfectant towelettes and or 1 oz hand sanitizer the last three times I have refueled. 1 per customer.

rollin
5 months ago

Just got back from Wuhan but spent last night in a Holiday Inn Express parking lot and all is cool!

Still got my mask on from Wuhan!

I’m afraid to touch it to take it off.

Seriously, everyone keep your guard up, a little distancing, masks when called for, lots of hand wringing I mean washing, LOTS of hand sanitizer (good luck finding any), and loads of antiseptic wipes.

Don’t forget your prayers, one of the best defenses you can put up. Particularly if you don’t make it past the virus!

Bob Godfrey
5 months ago

Wouldn’t this requirement run afoul of HIPAA?

GSmith
5 months ago

How detailed is this questionnaire? Who reviews it? How secure is the information and Is it ever destroyed?

Billy Bob Thornton
5 months ago
Reply to  GSmith

Detailed enough to pinpoint a problem. No it’s not secure. Nothing is secure, that’s a fact.

So, kudos to the governor for protecting your state. This shall pass, the vaccine is in the beginning stages of the pipeline.

If lesson learned from this one isn’t imprinted in most of us, shame on you. Buy American, and shift production of critical items back to our country. Globalism on a scale the politicians (excluding ONE) were selling us, sure didnt work, did it!

Ken
5 months ago

Never got one. Entered on the 16th via Vegas. We were both well. Stayed on St George with curbside registration. Leaving Ogden today, the 18th. So far I’ve seen two State troopers on I-15, neither were stopping cars for questionnaires. Another hundred miles, let’s keep our finger crossed. No government intrusion into our health.

John
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken

It appears this was meant to be accomplished by geofencing highway entry points to Utah. When a cell phone entered a geographic area a user would get a message to go online to fill out the declaration. Here is a link from Utah about the Governors order: https://governor.utah.gov/2020/04/09/governor-issues-executive-order-on-inbound-travel/

Billy Bob Thornton
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken

And one more thing; God Bless America, the greatest place on Earth.