Gov. Gary Herbert lowers Utah’s risk level beginning Friday

COVID-19 virus. Image: FDA

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 28, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Governor Gary Herbert lowered Utah’s COVID-19 risk level from “red” to “orange” at a Tuesday afternoon press briefing, effective Friday.

The “orange” risk level means moderate risk for most people, but still a high risk for those who are considered vulnerable to COVID-19, Herbert said.

The lowered risk level means:

Restaurants may open to dine-in service with some precautions:

• Screen employees for symptoms
• Keep customer groups apart through rearranging seating.
• Screen customers
• Clean more frequently.

Other recommendations for individuals:

• Avoid large groups.
• Playgrounds should still be off limits.
• Shopping should be infrequent to limit trips.
• Schools will remain dismissed through the end of the school year.

“We recognize in the plan that there are regional differences,” Herbert said. “Some areas may need more restrictions based on local case counts. Remember that we cannot get to a zero risk. Life has risk. We are trying to manage the risks we face.”

Herbert was asked if he was concerned about declaring a moderate risk while Utah is still having deaths.

“The change to moderate is a slow change meant to protect those who are most vulnerable to effects of COVID-19,” Herbert said. “We still need to social distance, wear a mask and stay home when sick.”

If there are areas of continued or active outbreaks, local health officials will work with state health to grant a variance if needed, Herbert said. This helps maintain local control and advice.

Herbert added: “Large group gatherings; sports and religious groups, will probably be some of the last activities to return to normal. For now, many need to worship in a different way.”


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