Gov. Gary Herbert declares new state of emergency declaration for Utah

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. File photo: News conference screengrab

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a new state of emergency declaration for Utah Thursday.

Herbert said in a tweet Thursday morning: “Today, I am announcing a new state of emergency that will take effect tonight upon the expiration of our current one. Without this legal status, the state will lose access to significant federal funding.

“The nature of a pandemic is fluid and requires constant adaptation. We are still very much in an emergency situation, and I will continue to work as governor to protect lives and livelihoods.”

The current declaration would have technically expired at midnight.

The new executive orders include:

  • Executive Order 2020-51, Declaring a State of Emergency Due to the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic (replacing Executive Order 2020-1);

  • Executive Order 2020-52, Reauthorizing the Suspension of Utah Administrative Code R671-302 Regarding Public Access to Board of Pardons and Parole Hearings (replacing Executive Order 2020-3);

  • Executive Order 2020-53, Reauthorizing the Suspension of Enforcement of Provisions of the Utah Postretirement Reemployment Restrictions Act (replacing Executive Order 2020-9);

  • Executive Order 2020-54, Reauthorizing the Suspension of Enforcement of Utah Code § 32B-5-309 Regarding Ceasing Operation of Certain Retail Licensees (replacing Executive Order 2020-21);

  • Executive Order 2020-55, Reauthorizing the Suspension of Enforcement of Statutes Relating to Telehealth Services (replacing Executive Order 2020-23);

  • Executive Order 2020-56, Updating the State Facilities Face Covering Requirement (replacing Executive Order 2020-48); and

  • Executive Order 2020-57, Extending the Utah COVID-19 Level of Restriction (replacing Executive Order 2020-50).

“We certainly don’t want to risk losing help from the federal government,” Herbert said. “We all know these are really challenging times. We have not had a pandemic of this magnitude certainly in any of our lifetimes.”

Herbert spoke about the decision during his monthly televised PBS news conference Thursday.

The Utah Department of Health has reported four more COVID-19 deaths and 461 new lab-confirmed cases of the virus in the past 24 hours.

“We do know we still have challenges with the COVID-19,” Herbert said during the news conference. “People are still dying, the infection rates are still too high and growing.”

Every state in the U.S. has an emergency declaration currently in place, Herbert pointed out. He said it’s not clear at this time whether he will need to issue further declarations for Utah.

The orders are effective immediately and will remain in effect until September 19.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.


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