With record cases being reported in Utah, Governor Gary Herbert with the Utah Department of Health has announced a new set of statewide restrictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and ease pressure on Utah’s hospitals and medical workers by declaring a state of emergency for the next two weeks.
- A statewide mask mandate for all Utahns in public, where six feet of physical distancing is not possible, which will “be extended for the foreseeable future.” The mandate can be enforced in all business settings and requires employees to wear face coverings, promote mask-wearing among patrons, and display signage to explaining this. Any business that fails to do so could be fined.
- Limit casual social gatherings to people in your household.
- A two-week hold on all extracurricular activities, including athletic and indoor events. Intercollegiate athletics and practices, and games and training associated with high school championships that follow instructions for testing and limited crowd sizes will be exempt from this portion of the mandate.
- Mandatory weekly testing for COVID-19 by all higher-education students in public and private institutions who either live on campus or attend at least one in-person class per week, with a plan that must be established as soon as possible but not later than January 1, 2021.
These mandates will start tomorrow at 1 pm through and will remain in place until at least Monday, November 23rd.
When discussing masks, the Governor said, “Masks do not negatively affect our economy and wearing them is the easiest thing way to slow the spread of the virus. Experts tell us that masks do not cause a shortage of oxygen to your brain or cause disease.” Adding, “We cannot afford to debate this issue any longer. Individual freedom is certainly important, and it is our rule of law that protects that freedom. Laws are put in place to protect all of us. That’s why we have traffic lights, speed limits, and seatbelts, and that’s why we now have a mask mandate.” Please, wear your masks.
More information can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov.