Since the arrival of COVID-19, many people have taken it amongst themselves to report on specific behaviors. Salt Lake City's Mayor's Office has a new social distancing hotline that allows concerned residents to report any violations of these guidelines by phone or email. As of Tuesday, there have been 390 complaints since March 16.
"Some businesses report that their competitors are doing wildly inappropriate things...and some complain about their fellow customers not social distancing in store aisles and the like,” Nicholas Rupp, the spokesperson for the Salt Lake County Health Department, told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Some of these complaints target businesses, which resulted in four companies being closed down.
From March 16 through April 14, 2020, the SLC County Health Department has received 390 complaints, about 60 of which were sent in through the hotline's online form.
However, these numbers don't reflect the 55 complaints the Unified Police Department has received, Sgt. Melody Gray told the Salt Lake Tribune.
The hotline's website, Stay Safe, Stay Home Complaints, states that the tool is not to "criminally cite people," but instead, it's "to help to continue educating the public."
We appreciate your interest in how we are managing this crisis in #SLC, but this comparison is a reach. Our emergen… https://t.co/i5RfLBQt10— Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@Mayor Erin Mendenhall)1586572369.0
A spokesperson, Greg Wilking, for the Salt Lake City Police told the Salt Lake Tribune that his department has received about a handful of calls about people not following social distancing guidelines.
Wilking also mentioned that officers might go to the place of the complaint if there are no other pressing calls to respond to. He also pointed out that “There really hasn’t been a major issue...and we haven’t had any enforcement around it.”
Violations in public spaces can be reported using an online form, and if there's an immediate issue, reports can be made using a non-emergency line by phone or online.
If there's an issue within a business, a separate number and form can be completed. This hotline is specifically for businesses and Salt Lake City residents.
The Stay Safe, Stay Home Complaint hotline uses the information you provide "to determine where we need more visual information or where we might need to close a public space."
There's no telling how many complaints will be filed in the upcoming weeks, but it's apparent that residents aren't shy about snitching on their fellow neighbors.