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Utah: State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance

UTAH

April 15, 2021:

On April 13, 2021, the Utah Department of Health recommended that vaccine providers temporarily pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine based on recent guidance from the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The temporary pause is based on reports of some vaccine recipients experiencing blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. During the temporary pause of the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the state will continue administering the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. More information about vaccine availability can be found here.

April 12, 2021:

On April 9, 2021, the Utah Department of Health issued State Public Health Order 2021-10, which provides an update on statewide COVID-19 Restrictions. The new Order is similar to previous orders, except that it removes the requirement that individuals wear face masks, except while attending an organized event. This change was made to reflect the recent passage of House Bill No. 294, which eliminated the state’s face mask requirement.

March 25, 2021:

On March 24, 2021, Governor Cox signed House Bill No. 294, which provides for the automatic termination of some COVID-19 restrictions once the state’s 14-day case rate reaches a level below 191 per 100,000, the state’s ICU seven-day hospitalization rate is less than 15%, and at least 1.63 million prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to the state.

Most notably, under House Bill No. 294, the state’s mask mandate will terminate on April 10, 2021 (although the mask mandate may remain in place for gatherings of 50 or more people if individuals attending the gathering cannot physically distance at least 6 feet from others not in the same party). Additionally, House Bill No. 294 allows local county governments to enact their own mask mandates, but any mandates enacted by local governments will automatically terminate once the state meets the predetermined thresholds that are outlined in the Bill. Further, the Bill does not alter the mask mandates and other precautionary measures that are in place for public K-12 schools until July 1, 2021. Lastly, the Bill allows private businesses to continue requiring masks if the business so chooses.

Governor Cox also signed Senate Bill No. 107, which is related to in-person instruction in public K-12 schools and higher education institutions. Under this Bill, schools are required to offer in-person instruction at least 4 days per week, beginning on March 21, 2021. Additionally, the Bill would implement a “Test to Stay” program for schools providing in-person instruction, requiring students to undergo COVID-19 testing to attend in-person classes if a COVID-19 outbreak reaches the following thresholds:

  • 2% positivity if schools have 1,500+ students; or
  • 30 positive cases if schools have fewer than 1,500 students

The program requires parent permission to test students under the age of 18.

March 18, 2021:

On March 18, 2021, Governor Spencer Cox announced that all Utah residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 24. More information about vaccine availability can be found here.

March 2, 2021:

On February 26, 2021, Governor Cox announced that individuals age 16 or older with certain underlying health conditions are eligible for the COVID vaccine. Additionally, vaccination appointments can now be made with any Utah health department, removing the previous rule that residents could only make appointments with the health department in the area where they live. The state is scheduled to receive doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine beginning next week, in addition to the state’s current allocation of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

February 24, 2021:

On February 23, 2021, Governor Cox issued an executive order that provides updates to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. The order states that COVID vaccination eligibility will now be at the direction of the Utah Department of Health. Additionally, the order reiterates the previously established vaccine provider requirements. No changes were made to current vaccine eligibility.

February 18, 2021:

On February 18, 2021, Governor Cox announced that individuals that are 65 years of age and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals in this group may begin scheduling vaccination appointments as they become available. Additionally, the state is moving forward with the next phase of eligibility beginning on March 1. In the next phase, individuals with certain underlying medical conditions will be eligible for the vaccine. More information on vaccine eligibility can be found here.

February 17, 2021:

On February 16, 2021, Utah announced that it will begin COVID-19 contact tracing through smart phone applications to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Beginning on February 17, Utah residents will be able participate in the contact tracing efforts by opting in to COVID exposure notifications via smartphone devices. The state has explained that the electronic tracing does not store any personal data, and citizens must opt in to participate. Full information about the new contact tracing efforts can be found here.

February 15, 2021:

On February 12, 2021, Governor Cox signed a concurrent resolution recognizing the efforts of the state health departments and other individuals that have contributed to containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Additionally, the Utah Department of Health announced new guidance on their recent changes to the COVID-19 Transmission Index. These changes include updates on public gathering requirements when transmission levels reach low and moderate stages. In areas of moderate transmission, the new requirements are:

  • Public gatherings can occur with side-by-side seating, but event hosts must complete an event template, all guests must wear masks, guests must have assigned seating, and guests must attest to being free of COVID-19 symptoms or exposures for 14 days prior to the event.
  • During Moderate phase, concession stands must be closed because of the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  • Physical distance is still strongly recommended.

In addition to the moderate level changes, the Department of Health has also announced changes to low transmission levels. The changes for low transmission levels include mask mandates, as well as a requirement that hosts complete an event template. Updated COVID-19 transmission level guidance can be found here.

February 10, 2021:

On February 9, 2021, Governor Cox participated in a virtual COVID-19 Q&A session where he addressed questions related to vaccine availability, vaccine distribution, mask mandates, and next phases for vaccine eligibility. These Q&A sessions are expected to continue throughout the pandemic.

February 8, 2021:

On February 4, 2021, the state announced that it will be getting an increase in vaccine allocation of 5 percent, which brings the allocation up to 42,000 doses per week. Additionally, the state announced the groups that will be eligible for vaccine on March 1 include:

  • Those age 65 and older; and
  • Those ages 18 and older with the following medical conditions:
    • Solid organ transplant recipients;
    • Certain cancers;
    • Immunocompromised state from blood, bone marrow, or organ transplant, HIV, use of corticosteroids long-term, or long-term use of other immune weakening medicines;
    • Severe kidney disease on dialysis or with stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease;
    • Uncontrolled diabetes;
    • Severe obesity;
    • Chronic liver disease including chronic hepatitis B or C;
    • Chronic heart disease (not hypertension);
    • Severe chronic respiratory disease other than asthma;
    • Neurologic conditions that impair respiratory function, including Down’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, or hemiplegia;
    • Stroke, Alzheimer’s, or vascular or frontotemporal dementia; and
    • Asplenia, including splenectomy, spleen dysfunction, or sickle cell disease.

January 27, 2021:

On January 27, Governor Cox announced that Utah will receive extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Walgreens and CVS pharmacies reallocated 28,275 additional doses for distribution throughout the state. These doses are in addition to the 8,775 doses received by the state this week, and the 19,500 doses that are scheduled to be delivered to the state next week.

January 21, 2021:

On January 21, 2021, Governor Cox gave on update on Utah’s coronavirus vaccine plan. The COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, and K-12 teachers and school staff. As of January 21, 2021, Utah has administered the COVID-19 vaccines in the following amounts to the members of those groups:

  • 97% of vaccine doses allocated to local health departments;
  • 96% of vaccine doses allocated to hospitals;
  • 100% of vaccine doses allocated to community nursing services;
  • 83% of vaccine doses allocated to “other” groups;
  • 43% of vaccine doses allocated through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership.

January 11, 2021:

On January 8, Governor Cox issued Executive Order 2021-02, which orders that teachers and staff members in Utah’s K-12 schools will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of January 11, 2021. Governor Cox’s executive order also provides that Utahans aged 70 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning the week of January 18, 2021.

Also, on January 8, Governor Cox set a goal of fully immunizing all health care providers, including long-term care facility staff and residents, first responders, public and trial health frontline workers, K-12 teachers and school staff, and adults older than 70 by the end of February. The approximate number of Utah residents from these population groups totals 412,000.

Executive Order 2021-02 details vaccine eligibility and vaccine provider requirements, including not administering the vaccine provider requirements, including not administering the vaccine to someone who has tested positive from COVID-19 within 90 days, administering each COVID-19 vaccine within seven days of receiving the vaccine; and reporting data each day by 6:59 a.m. central time.

Executive Order 2021-02 also states that vaccine provider who does comply with the order may be subject to reduced COVID-19 vaccine distribution or no distribution for future distribution periods. A COVID-19 vaccine not used within seven days of distribution is subject to redistribution. The order further provides that the Utah Department of Health will coordinate with local health departments to establish procedures to offer monoclonal antibodies to residents of long-term care facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19.

January 6, 2021:

The Utah Department of Health has announced that it is currently in Phase 1 (Mid-December through Late December-January of its Vaccine Distribution Timeline) of its vaccine distribution plan. The COVID-19 vaccine is presently available to the following citizens either through employers or their local health department:

  • All hospital healthcare workers can be vaccinated by their employers;
  • Long-term care facility healthcare workers can be vaccinated by their employers with the help of the CVS and Walgreens national pharmacy chains or by other local providers the Utah Department of Health has contracted to administer the vaccine;
  • Home healthcare workers employers by home healthcare agencies can be vaccinated by their local health department;
  • Non-hospital healthcare workers employed by independent medical clinics not associated with a hospital or healthcare system can get vaccinated by their local health department;
  • EMS workers can be vaccinated through local health department or through their employers;
  • All other healthcare workers, including dentists, dental assistants, physical and occupational therapists, and medical aesthetics can be vaccinated by their local health departments;
  • Non-EMS first responders such as law enforcement officers, dispatchers, and corrections officers can be vaccinated by contacting their local health departments or their employers.

Individuals from these groups who seek to be vaccinated through their local health department must contact their local health department to schedule an appointment. Each individual will need to provide proof of current active employment.

The state of Utah anticipates that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to its citizens beginning in Mid-December 2020 with doses available to healthcare personnel in work in high risk environments through hospitals in the state that provide care to the highest number of COVID-19 patients. The state anticipates the vaccine will be available to the general population sometime between March-July 2021. Utah’s vaccine distribution timeline will progress as follows:

  • Mid-December:
    • healthcare personnel who work in high-risk environments in the state’s hospitals that provide care to the highest volume of COVID-19 patients.
  • Late December-January:
    • healthcare workers who work in high-risk environments in the remaining hospital facilities;
    • remaining healthcare personnel including clinics, pharmacy state, Tribal health long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing staff, and other healthcare personnel who are high-risk;
    • School staff;
    • EMS, first responders, public health workers, community health workers, and Tribal EMS and Tribal public health workers.
  • February:
    • Long-term care facility staff and residents who have not been vaccinated;
    • Utahns 75 and older;
    • Utahns with certain underlying medical conditions (specific conditions have not yet been determined).
  • March-July:
    • Tribal reservation communities;
    • Additional Utahns based on age (prioritization not yet determined);
    • Additional Utahns living in congregate care settings (prioritization to be determined);
    • Racial and ethnic groups at higher-risk;
    • All Utahns.

The timeline is subject to change based on vaccine availability.

January 5, 2021:

On January 4, 2021, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) announced that it is offering free rapid antigen testing at several locations throughout the state. Testing locations were chosen based on positivity rates, lower numbers of tests conducted, untreated wastewater sampling, and other surveillance data. Anyone, regardless of if they have COVID-19 symptoms or not, can be tested at these free testing sites. Those who want to be tested can find a location and register through the state’s online map. UDOH encourages everyone to pre-register to limit delays at the testing sites.

Because rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than PCR tests, the UDOH will require a PCR test under certain circumstances. For instance, if an individual has COVID-19 symptoms and tests negative on the rapid antigen test or if an individual does not have symptoms and test positive on the rapid antigen test, they will be referred for a follow up confirmation PCR test.

November 23, 2020:

On November 23, 2020, the Utah Department of Health released a new public health order. The department’s previous order, issued on November 8, 2020, expires at midnight. The new order is identical to the original order and is effective from November 24, 2020 until December 8, 2020 unless otherwise modified or amended.

November 12, 2020:

On November 12, 2020, Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Health provided additional clarification to the State of Emergency Order and the Public Health Order. The revised orders clarify the following:

  • Physical child custody exchanges, court-ordered parent time, and at-home child care services (such as nannies and babysitters) are permitted;
  • The requirement for college and university students who live on-campus or attend at least one class a week on-campus to be tested weekly for COVID-19 applies only to students who are 18 or older.

November 11, 2020:

On November 8, following several weeks of increased strain on Utah’s hospitals due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, Governor Herbert declared a new state of emergency to address hospital overcrowding. Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Health issued concurrent executive and public health orders to curb the surging case counts. Both orders are effective from November 9, 2020 through November 23, 2020.

The orders do the following:

  • Institute a statewide mask mandate, requiring Utahns to wear masks in public, and when within six feet of anyone outside their household. The mandate also applies to businesses, requiring employees and patrons to wear masks, and post signage. Businesses that fail to take the required actions will be subject to fines. In his press release, the Governor also noted that the mask mandate will remain in effect for the foreseeable future, extending past the expiration of the initial orders.
  • Limit casual social gatherings to household-only.
  • All extracurricular activities, including athletic and intramural events on hold. The orders do not apply to intercollegiate athletic events, or practices and games associated with high school championships provided that those events follow the state’s instructions for testing and limiting crowd size.
  • Beginning as soon as possible, but no later than January 1, 2021, students enrolled at public and private higher education institutions who either live on campus or attend one in person class per week will be required to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Utah also announced that it will activate additional National Guard resources to assist with contact tracing, and rollout of an accelerated testing initiative for asymptomatic individuals. This program will focus on the required weekly testing on college campuses, testing for student participating in extracurricular activities, and eventual workplace testing for people 35 and under. The Utah Department of Health is also working to expand rapid asymptomatic testing for high school teachers. All K-12 teachers in the state currently have universal access to PCR testing through TestUtah.

On November 9, Governor Herbert and the Utah Department of Health released updated orders clarifying several points of confusion from the initial orders. The updated orders provide the following:

  • Bars and restaurants may remain open but are not permitted to serve alcohol after 10:00 p.m.
  • Athletic events run by private companies, such as dance and karate classes, are permitted to continue provided that max attendance numbers, mask wearing, and physical distancing requirements are enforced.

October 7, 2020:

On October 1, the Utah Labor Commission announced the launch of the Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant program (“Grant”). This grant program will help small businesses with less than 50 employees continue to pay employees who are required to quarantine or isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone who has tested positive. The $2 million Grant uses federal CARES Act funds as part of Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It provides reimbursement to small business employers who pay employees to stay home during quarantine or isolation for a maximum of 40 hours per week for a period of up to two calendar weeks.

September 23, 2020:

On September 19, 2020, Governor Herbert issued an Executive Order that again placed Utah under a state of emergency. Under the new State of Emergency, the governor will only take certain executive actions, such as suspending statutes, if asked to do so by the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission. For more information on this policy, see the governor’s letter to legislative leadership.

August 25, 2020:

On August 21, 2020, Governor Herbert reissued an executive order declaring a continued state of emergency. All state of emergency orders are in effect one month at a time.

August 17, 2020:

On August 14, 2020, Governor Herbert signed Executive Order 2020-50 that adopted a new Version, version 4.10, of Phased Guidelines for the state.

  • Areas must follow their Level of Restriction’s guidelines. This order lists:
    • Salt Lake City in the Moderate (Orange) Level of Restriction;
    • Beaver County, Daggett County, Duchesne County, Emery County, Garfield County, Kane County, Millard County, Piute County, Uintah County, and Wayne County in the Minimal (Green) Level of Restriction; and
    • All other areas in Low (Yellow) Level of Restriction.
  • All employees unable to maintain six feet of distance and all individuals in a healthcare setting must wear face coverings.
  • Political subdivisions may adopt mask mandates without approval from the Utah Department of Health.

This order rescinds and replaces Executive Order 2020-49 and will remain in effect until August 20th.

August 12, 2020:

On August 12, Governor Herbert put out a press release indicating his support that Utahns should be wearing masks. He highlighted a study done by researchers at Brigham Young University that highlighted masks can be effective at reducing spread and masks are not dangerous to wear. Governor Herbert encourages all Utahns to read the study, linked here, and wear a mask.

July 30, 2020:

On July 30, Governor Herbert and Utah State Schools Superintendent Sydnee Dickson and state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn held a joint news conference announcing the new guidelines for schools to reopen, in-person, in the fall.

  • Students should
    • Tell parents or teachers of COVID-19 symptoms
    • Stay home if they are sick
    • Isolate if they test positive
    • Quarantine if they are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19
    • Social distance
    • Wash hands
    • Wear face coverings while at school
  • Parents should
    • Check their child’s temperature every day before school
    • Keep child home if the child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
    • Alert the school if the child has any health conditions that put them at a greater risk from COVID-19
  • Teachers should
    • Prepare curriculum plans in case the teacher must isolate or quarantine
    • Purchase disposable disinfecting wipes to wipe down high traffic surfaces
  • Schools should
    • Prepare for children to get sick at school and have an area to allow the school nurse to respond to sick students
    • Have separate areas for students who are sick without COVID-19 symptoms, students who have scheduled medical needs, and students who have COVID-19 symptoms
    • Call parents to pick up their child if the child has symptoms of COVID-19
      • If immediate pick up is not possible and the child must ride the bus, all children on the bus should wear a mask and physically distance
    • Clean any rooms COVID-19 students were in for 15 minutes or longer
    • Determine what protective equipment employees who interact with students should wear
    • Have a point of contact person who will work with the health department on contract tracing
    • Contact students, teachers, or employees who came into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • If schools can’t provide a safe learning environment, the school needs to consider temporary remote learning or closure
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate until
    • Symptoms are gone
    • Person has been fever free for 24 hours without medicine
    • It has been 10 days since the first positive test or sign of symptoms
  • Individuals do not need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test before returning to school

July 28, 2020:

July 27, Governor Herbert has issued Executive Order 2020-46, which will be in effect until August 7, 2020. This executive order establishes version 4.9 of the Phased Guidelines. These guidelines require:

  • 24-hour restaurants must close at least twice a day for cleaning
  • Self-service restaurants must hand out utensils, cups, plates, and other items directly to patrons
  • Buffets will provide staff to serve patrons or patrons may self-serve if hand sanitizer is used by each patron every time they enter a different food bar line
    • If patrons may self-serve, serving utensils must be replaced with clean serving utensils every 30 minutes
  • Patrons must wear face coverings in food serving areas
  • Managers must check each employee for symptoms and ensure members of employee’s household has not tested positive for COVID before every shift. They must keep a log available for inspection by local health officer
  • Staff must wear face coverings at all times and sanitize or wash hands between interactions with each table

July 23, 2020:

On July 23 the Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced a $25 million grant fund under “Shop in Utah” program. 75% of the funds will go to small business with 250 or fewer full-time employees. To qualify, companies must offer discounts to their customers of at least 50% of their grant amount. Applications will be accepted starting July 27, 2020 at 9 a.m. For more information on the Shop in Utah program, click here.

July 22, 2020:

On July 17, 2020, Governor Herbert issued Executive Order No. 2020-44, which replaces Executive Order 2020-40. The new executive order is effective until August 7, 2020.

  • Governor Herbert reaffirms Utah’s Health Risk status, leaving Salt Lake City in Moderate Risk (Orange), ten counties in the Normal Risk (Green) and the rest of the state in the Low Risk (Yellow).
  • Businesses must comply with their area’s color Phased Guidelines.
  • It is highly recommended all individuals wear face coverings.
  • Individuals must wear face coverings if they are (1) employees of a business when individual is unable to maintain a distance of six feet from another individual or (2) in a healthcare setting
  • Political subdivisions desiring an exception to this executive order or phased guidelines or to move to a Green (Normal Risk) must submit request and justification for the request to the Local Health Department to the Utah Department of Health.
  • K-12 schools located in Orange Phase areas may reopen as long as every individual over three years old on school property or school bus wears a face covering as per State Public Health Order
    • Individuals may take off face coverings when they are six feet away from any other individual.

Individuals with medical conditions or disabilities are exempt from wearing a face covering but the school may request medical documentation for justification of exemption.

July 13, 2020:

On July 13, 2020, The Cultural Assistance Grant Program “Create In Utah,” approved by the Legislature during their June 18 special session, provides $9 million in grants to organizations with annual budgets of more than $5 million. The funding, which comes from the federal CARES Act, is targeted for programs that boost tourism and help local economies recover. Applications for the Cultural Assistance Grant program will open July 13th, and close July 27, 2020. Information will be available here.

On July 10, 2020, Governor Herbert announced the extension of the Executive Order mandating face coverings in all State facilities. Governor Herbert did not issue a statewide mask mandate, instead the governor is encouraging Utahans to voluntarily wear masks when in public and continue to practice social distancing. However, the Governor has approved mask mandates for Salt Lake, Summit, and Grand counties and the city of Springdale in Washington County. Additionally, the Governor announced that all students and faculty at K-12 schools will be required to wear masks in all buildings this fall. Governor Herbert also extended Utah’s Health Risk status, leaving Salt Lake City in Moderate Risk (Orange), ten counties in the Normal Risk (Green) and the rest of the state in the Low Risk (Yellow).

July 8, 2020:

The State of Utah has announced the Racial Equity & Inclusion Fund, which has been formed to address COVID-19 disparities. Recent data indicates that in Utah, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted racially and ethnically diverse communities. In response to the disparities, the Multicultural Subcommittee of the Utah Coronavirus Task Force developed the Racial Equity & Inclusion Fund which provides grants to community-based organizations in order to increase their ability to provide emergency support and financial assistance to disproportionately impacted communities. Through grantmaking, the Multicultural Subcommittee and its partners aim to increase the ability for organizations working on behalf of marginalized and systematically-isolated communities to sustain a more equitable future for themselves and their communities.

June 23, 2020:

On June 23, 2020, with Utah’s June 30 primary coming up, the state election’s office has taken several steps to mitigate potential risks at the polls. Current steps being taken by the election’s office can be found here. Also, Utah’s Department of Health issued specific guidelines for poll workers to create safe and healthy experience for those voting in person in November. The Department’s recommendations from the guidelines promote mask wearing, regularly wipe down high-tough surfaces, and locate polling booths six feet apart facing the same direction. For voters, things to consider include:

  • Think about using mail-in ballots.
  • Stay home if you have a fever, respiratory symptoms, or think you’re sick.
  • Wear masks at the polling site. (All workers will be required to wear masks, gloves, and eye protection.)
  • Consider early voting, where crowds may be smaller, if you fall into one of the high-risk categories.
  • Practice physical distancing when lining up to vote.
  • Wash your hands when you go into the facility and when you leave. Use hand sanitizer if hand washing isn’t available.

More detailed information about safe voting is available here.

June 22, 2020:

On June 19, 2020, Governor Herbert issued an Executive Order announcing that the following counties would transition to the New Normal Health Risk Status, or Green: Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Piute, Uintah and Wayne. The order, which officially moved nine rural counties to the new status, accounts for only 3% of Utah's population. The more densely populated county, Salt Lake City, will remain at Moderate Risk Status, or Orange. The New Normal Health Risk Status allows businesses to open and operate under enhanced hygiene and cleaning regime. Executive Order 2020-31 is repealed and replaced by this order.

June 15, 2020:

On June 12, 2020, Governor Herbert issued an Executive Order moving Kane County to the New Normal Health Risk Status (or Green) as well as Bluff and Mexican Hat to the Low Health Risk Status (or Yellow). Salt Lake City will remain in Orange. Along with these changes the Governor has adopted updated guidelines for areas in the Low and New Normal health risk designation. The order, in effect until 11:59 p.m. June 26, 2020, rescinds and replaces Executive Order 2020-30 and specifically addresses updated guidelines pertaining to high-risk individuals, gatherings, businesses, education and events as follows:

  • The Utah COVID-19 Public Health Risk Status is:
    • Orange (Moderate Risk) in Salt Lake City;
    • Green (Normal Risk) in Kane County; and
    • Yellow (Low Risk) in each area of the State not identified as Green or Orange.
  • All individuals and businesses shall comply with the appropriate risk provisions of the Phased Guidelines that apply to the area in which they are located.
  • Any reference in the Phased Guidelines to the use of a mask or face covering is adopted as
    • an order for (i) individuals acting in the capacity of an employee of a business when the individual is unable to maintain a distance of 6 ft from another individual, and (ii) each individual in a healthcare setting; and
    • as strong recommendation for any individual not identified in the immediate preceding provision.
  • A political subdivision desiring an exception to this Order or the Phase Guidelines or desiring to move to Green (Normal Risk) shall submit the request and justification for the request through the applicable Local Health Department to the Utah Department of Health.

June 5, 2020:

Governor Herbert extended his Utah COVID-19 health risk status or to June 12, 2020. All current health risk guidance for the state remains unchanged. Specifically, the COVID-19 public health risk status remains Orange (Moderate Risk) in Salt Lake City, Bluff and Mexican Hat, and in all other areas of the state the status remains Yellow (Low Risk). The extension of the order is effective as of today, June 5 at 4:04pm (CT). (See announcement here.)

June 3, 2020:

As of June 1, 2020, uninsured Utah residents who meet residency/citizenship guidelines may be eligible to receive coverage for COVID-19 testing and other related services. Information can be found here.

May 29, 2020:

Governor Gary Herbert issued an Executive Order updating guidelines for areas in in low health risk designation under Utah’s phased health guidance plan. The order states:

  • All Counties are Yellow (Low Risk) under the Phased Guidelines, except for Salt Lake City, Grand County, West Valley City, and Magna metro township, which are all Orange (Moderate Risk).
  • Any reference in the Phased Guidelines to the use of a mask or face covering is adopted as an order with respect to each individual acting as an employee of a business when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from another individual, and each individual in a healthcare setting. It’s also a strong recommendation with respect to everyone else.
  • A political subdivision desiring an exception to the Order or Phased Guidelines can submit a request and justification for it through the Local Health Department to the Utah Department of Health.
  • The order expires at 11:59 p.m. on June 5, 2020, and can be found here.

A press release was also issued yesterday, noting the governor had updated the Phased Guidelines. The updates are as follows:

  • The updated guidelines say reopening of K-12 schools is anticipated for the 2020-2021 academic year, including sporting events, activities, and in-person graduations, in areas that remain Yellow (Low Risk). Faculty and staff will need to wear face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Higher education campuses may open for in-person classes in areas that remain Yellow (Low-Risk).
  • Social interactions in groups of 50 or fewer are permitted in areas that remain Yellow (Low-Risk); groups of 20 or fewer may gather in Orange (Moderate Risk) areas.
  • The Updated Guidelines can be found here.

May 28, 2020:

On Wednesday, May 27, Governor Gary Herbert issued an Executive Order updating guidelines for areas in in low health risk designation under Utah’s phased health guidance plan. The order states:

  • All Counties are Yellow (Low Risk) under the Phased Guidelines, except for Salt Lake City, Grand County, West Valley City, and Magna metro township, which are all Orange (Moderate Risk).
  • Any reference in the Phased Guidelines to the use of a mask or face covering is adopted as an order with respect to each individual acting as an employee of a business when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from another individual, and each individual in a healthcare setting. It’s also a strong recommendation with respect to everyone else.
  • A political subdivision desiring an exception to the Order or Phased Guidelines can submit a request and justification for it through the Local Health Department to the Utah Department of Health.
  • The order expires at 11:59 p.m. on June 5, 2020

A press release was also issued, noting the governor had updated the Phased Guidelines. The updates are as follows:

  • The updated guidelines say reopening of K-12 schools is anticipated for the 2020-2021 academic year, including sporting events, activities, and in-person graduations, in areas that remain Yellow (Low Risk). Faculty and staff will need to wear face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • Higher education campuses may open for in-person classes in areas that remain Yellow (Low-Risk).
  • Social interactions in groups of 50 or fewer are permitted in areas that remain Yellow (Low-Risk); groups of 20 or fewer may gather in Orange (Moderate Risk) areas.

May 17, 2020:

Governor Herbert issued an executive order officially moving much of Utah to Low Health Risk Status, or Yellow, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16. While most counties in the state are transitioning to Yellow, the order clarifies that Grand County, Summit County and Wasatch will remain in the Orange Health Risk Status.

May 14, 2020:

Governor Herbert announced that most of Utah will move to the Yellow or Low Risk Phase of its Coronavirus response. Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Wasatch County, Summit County, and Grand County will remain in orange.

May 12, 2020:

An Executive Order was entered Friday, May 8 suspending enforcement of a statute requiring certain retail licensees serving alcoholic beverage to notify the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control prior to closing or ceasing operations.

May 7, 2020:

The Governor signed an executive order yesterday afternoon adjusting restrictions dealing with sports, personal care service and church services.

  • The guidelines ensure churches keep people separate by at least 6 feet, and encourage religious leaders to hold multiple services so crowds will be smaller.
  • Sports can’t be played unless people are 10 feet apart. Yoga, dance, and martial arts studios can reopen if social distancing is followed.
  • Clients obtaining personal care services can remove their mask when it would interfere with the service they’re receiving.

April 21, 2020:

The Utah Department of Health rescinded its earlier statewide restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures, effective immediately.

April 10, 2020:

Governor Herbert has issued an Executive Order establishing a requirement for individuals entering Utah to complete a travel declaration form. The Utah Department of Transportation will collect this information in an electronic form individuals will receive via text message upon entering the state.

The order requires every individual 18 years of age or older who enters Utah, either as a final destination through the Salt Lake City International Airport, or on Utah roads, to complete a travel declaration form before entering the state. The order is effective April 10th through May 1st.

April 3, 2020:

Governor Herbert issued an Executive Order instituting a moratorium on residential evictions for a narrow group of tenants who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. The order is effective immediately and applies only to individuals who have suffered wage or job loss as a result of COVID-19, have undergone self-isolation or quarantine in compliance with an order issued by the Utah Department of Health or a local health department, or have tested positive for COVID-19. It is effective through May 15.

The order does not create or order rent forgiveness. It is designed to help provide a window of leniency, not to release individuals from rental agreements. Evictions by landlords cannot be initiated until May 15. Tenants who can pay rent immediately must continue to do so. All tenants who are unable to pay rent now will be required to pay back rent when the order expires.

Additionally, the Utah Department of Health issued an order extending the closure of dine-in options at food service establishments until April 15. Establishments may provide drive-through, take-out, pick-up, or delivery services.

March 30, 2020:

(Salt Lake County): Salt Lake County issued a stay at home Public Health Order, effective March 30 through April 13. The order directs all individuals to stay at home except to engage in essential activities or businesses, which include: grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations, auto repair, pet supply and veterinarians, food pantries, food and beverage production, religious institutions, charitable and social services, childcare, insurance and financial services, hardware, critical construction trades, mail and shipping, laundromats, home-based care, legal, accounting, real estate professional services, hotels and motels, higher education, transportation, utilities, essential infrastructure, media, and any other business defined as critical infrastructure in the federal CISA guidance.

March 27, 2020:

Governor Herbert issued an executive order suspending sections of state statute that may make it difficult for health providers to provide telehealth care to their patients.

The order allows medical providers to offer a telehealth service that does not comply with the security and privacy standards required by Utah law, so long as the healthcare provider notifies the patient that the service they are using does not comply with those standards, allows them to decline using the service, and takes reasonable steps to ensure that the service provided is secure and private.

March 26, 2020:

(Summit County): The Summit County (Park City and surrounding areas) government issued a stay-at-home order for all individuals living in the county. Individuals may leave their residences for:

  • Essential Activities (including activities essential for health and safety, obtaining necessary supplies, or performing work providing essential products or services)
  • Essential Governmental Functions
  • Essential Travel (including travel related to any “Essential” category)
  • To operate Essential Businesses (including healthcare operations, essential infrastructure, grocery stores and food retailers, agriculture, homeless shelters, media, gas stations and auto repaid, financial institutions, hardware stores, essential trades, mailing/shipping services, educational institutions, laundromats, restaurants providing pick-up or drive-thru service, transportation providers, home-based care, professional services, childcare facilities, and businesses that supply other Essential Businesses)

The order is effective March 27 through May 1.

March 25, 2020:

Governor Herbert released the “Utah Leads Together,” his comprehensive task force plan to mitigate the economic consequences of Covid-19. The report and economic playbook include recommendations from dozens of state and industry leaders throughout Utah. The plan outlines three phases:

  • Urgent Phase: A coordinated public health response coupled with historic economic stimulus from federal, state and local governments. The estimated duration is tentatively estimated to be eight to 12 weeks with the measure of challenge being job losses.
  • Stabilization Phase: Public health measures and economic interventions begin to take effect. The estimated time frame is 14 weeks and the primary measure is job stabilization.
  • Recovery Phase: Return to stability and positive job growth. This phase relies on successes in the prior phases and is estimated at eight to ten weeks in duration.

Additionally, the Utah Department of Health issued an order restricting nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures to conserve protective equipment needed to treat patients with COVID-19.

March 21, 2020:

The Utah Department of Health revised its March 17th public health order. The original restrictions—limiting restaurant and bar operations to dine-in/carry-out/delivery operations and prohibiting gatherings of more than ten individuals (excluding grocery stores)—remain in effect. Additionally, The Department clarified that hotels may serve complimentary meals in prepackaged, take-out form in non-common areas and that convenience stores may sell hot food items and self-serve drinks, subject to heightened cleaning requirements for high-touch surfaces. 

The order remains in effect through April 1, 2010, unless further extended.

March 18, 2020:

Governor Herbert issued an executive order suspending certain Open and Public Meetings Act requirements to allow public bodies to hold electronic meetings, even if the public body has not previously adopted a rule to govern such meetings. Physical notice posting requirements are waived. Interested persons and media must be able to participate and comment electronically.

Additionally, Governor Herbert issued an executive order waiving certain requirements for the return of wine, beer, and spirits to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Subject to certain requirements, including that the products are unsealed and were purchased between March 2nd and March 18th, 2020, the restocking fee for alcoholic beverages is waived and refunds need not be processed only by check, which can take several weeks.

March 17, 2020:

The Utah Department of Health issued a statewide public health order limiting restaurant and bar operations and prohibiting gatherings of more than ten individuals (excluding grocery stores). The order is in effect through April 1, 2010, unless further extended.

Restaurants, bars, and taverns were ordered to close their dine-in food services, whether inside or outside. Establishments could operate on a limited basis including by offering carry-out, drive-through service, and third-party delivery service. Any employee presenting COVID-19 symptoms must be not be permitted to work.

March 12, 2020: 

Governor Herbert issued an executive order suspending in-person filing requirements for potential candidates for elected office.

March 6, 2020: 

Governor Herbert declared a state of emergency.

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