The response from both Utah’s political leaders and national media was swift regarding the mob like scene on Monday night at the Salt Lake City Airport.
Picking up a @Ch_JesusChrist missionary at @slcairport? Congrats! NOTE:
🛩 Remain in vehicle
🛩One vehicle allowed per missionary
🛩 Park on 2nd level of short-term garage
🛩 Airport staff will direct missionaries to parking area and security will monitor adherence to guidelines
— SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor) March 23, 2020
As missionaries return home due to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, they should not be met by big groups of family or friends. Large welcome parties are dangerous and could greatly increase the spread of coronavirus in our state.
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) March 23, 2020
Mitt Romney wrote on Facebook
“This is irresponsible,” “Parents, please pick up your missionary from the airport alone and help them strictly follow self-quarantine procedures for their first 14 days at home. We need to work together to keep our communities safe.”
Improvements to be made
It appears that all of the attention given to this unfortunate incident has changed the way future missionary pickups will happen. This picture was taken by someone on Reddit at the Salt Lake Airport.
In addition, communication was sent out to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints families.
““What occurred on Sunday afternoon at the Salt Lake airport causes us deep concern with missionaries and their families disregarding important instructions regarding self-isolation and congregating at airports,” said the letter, which was sent to Utah stake presidents. “We ask you to help members in your stake understand the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of practicing safe social distancing and the need to follow the recommendations from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Let’s hope everyone in Utah learned from this and will help stop the spread of the coronavirus. There will be multiple flights coming in from around the world in which this will be tested, including today with this missionary evacuation from South Africa.
The flight is bringing missionaries back home. https://t.co/av9BwMeXUq
— SaltLakeCityAirport (@slcairport) March 25, 2020
I look forward to everyone keeping safe.