Costco to require customers to wear masks; Local DMV office to remain closed despite others reopening

A Department of Motor Vehicles sign at an unspecified location on an unspecified date. | Photo by Kat Snowden/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As the state moves ahead with easing some coronavirus restrictions Friday, Department of Motor Vehicle offices throughout the state will be reopening their lobbies. One of the few exemptions is the Southern Utah office in Hurricane. 

Costco locations – including the location in St. George – announced that as of next week, all customers must wear face masks.

While two new positive COVID-19 tests were announced in Southern Utah, Beaver County remains the one area locally to have not seen any COVID-19 cases.

Hurricane DMV will remain limited to drive-through

The state DMV announced that most of its offices in the state will be reopening Friday as part of Gov. Gary Herbert’s move to switch the state from a “red” to “orange” coronavirus risk status and allow some businesses to reopen.

Undated picture of the Utah Drivers Licence office in Hurricane, Utah. | Photo courtesy Utah Department of Public Safety, St. George News

The Dixie office is the one state office that is an exception, as the state’s DMV director said the office at 100 S. 5300 West in Hurricane is not ready to handle lobby services and will stick with drive-through services for now. 

“Hurricane was not provided all the equipment to do all of the schedulings. They don’t have the equipment until we can get that to them,” Monte Roberts, director of the Utah DMV told St. George News. As far as how long it will be before lobby services will be opened up, Roberts said, “If I had to make a guess, it would be in the next few weeks.”

For now, the Southern Utah office will remain limited to the drive-through service that has been in place since March 30

Drive-through services are limited to registration, disabled placards, impound releases and insurance reinstatements. ‘

On Wednesday night, Herbert’s office announced the governor signed an executive order temporarily suspending enforcement of statutes for some expiring vehicle registrations through May 15.

The DMV warns of long wait times in the drive-throughs, and the line of cars leading to the DMV office in Hurricane has been apparent. DMV officials recommend renewing vehicle registrations online through Renewal Express at or at an On the SPOT renewal station when possible.  

Outside Washington County, there are appointment-only options at the following locations: In Iron County at the Iron County Justice Court in Cedar City and the Assessor’s Office in Parowan; in Beaver County at the Beaver County Assessor’s Office and the Milford Justice Court; in Garfield County at the Panguitch County Courthouse; and in Kane County at the Kanab Assessor’s Office. For a complete list of contact phone numbers, go to this link.

Driver’s license services, separate from the DMV in Utah, will remain for renewals online only. New licenses are not available and the Drivers Licence Office next to the DMV office in Hurricane will remain closed with no tentative date to reopen at this point. 

Costco requiring all customers to wear masks

Starting Monday, shirts, shoes and masks will be required at Costco. 

Picture of the Costco location in St. George, St. George, Utah, March 14, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News

The membership-only warehouse retail chain announced Wednesday a new policy starting Monday where customers must wear masks or they will not be permitted to enter the store.

Costco made the announcement on its website Wednesday. 

Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Heath, applauded the move, and said as more retailers and businesses open up face coverings will be important. 

“It’s essential every Utahn wear a face covering if social distancing is not available,” Dunn said. 

The state of Utah announced Tuesday it is making a free mask available for “every Utahn.” The state said it has purchased two million face masks and will provide one to any resident who applies at

Costco said people entering the store will not be allowed in unless they are wearing a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times. The only exemptions are children under the age of two or those unable to wear a mask because of a medical condition. 

Costco also said it is only allowing two people to enter the store with each membership card. 

Dunn advised that as some businesses open up and people do more venturing out that it should still be business as usual for those with a high risk of COVID-19 being fatal. Dunn said “stay safe, stay home” still applies to those over 60 and those with underlying medical conditions like obesity, hypertension and lung conditions.

“People who have these conditions should maintain social distancing,” Dunn said.

Beaver remains virus-free

Of the five counties covered by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Beaver County has been the only one that has yet to see a resident test positive for the coronavirus.

Undated photo of Beaver Valley Hospital in Beaver, Utah. | Photo courtesy Beaver Valley Hospital, St. George News

Scott Langford, administrator for Beaver Valley Hospital, said it is a combination of people in the county practicing good social distancing and a little bit of luck. 

“We’re just very fortunate. It’s been surprising; we’ve been testing everyone who has symptoms. People are doing really good at social distancing,” Langford said. “We’re rural, it’s easier to social distance. We’ve just benefited by being small and remote. The trick here is we have all the people coming through on I-15.”

There have been 93 total coronavirus cases in Southern Utah with 65 cases having been in Washington County, 22 in Iron County and three each in Garfield and Kane counties.

But none in Beaver. Langford is able to concede that in this case, smaller is better.

“The sheer numbers that Dixie (Regional Medical Center) deals with compared to Beaver isn’t close,” Langford said. “We can manage our one to two patients.”

COVID-19 information resources

Southern Utah coronavirus count (as of April 29, 2020)

Positive COVID-19 tests: 93, with 65 recoveries.

  • Washington County: 65 (1 new)
  • Iron County: 22 (1 new)
  • Garfield County: 3
  • Kane County: 3
  • Beaver County: 0

Deaths: 2

  • Washington County: 1 (1 new)
  • Iron County: 1

Hospitalized: 3

Tested: 5,599

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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