Utah will lift more COVID-19 restrictions beginning Saturday

20200514 Herbert Presser

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday that, beginning Saturday morning, most of the state will move from moderate (orange) to low (yellow) risk from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Grand County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Salt Lake City and West Valley City will remain at orange risk level for at least another week while the rest of the state will move to the lower level.

“I like the trend. I like the numbers. I like what’s taking place,” said Herbert announcing the lower alert level for the state. “The trend is good.”

Under the “low” risk level, limits on the number of people who can gather in public rises from 20 to 50, and some employees can return to working on site. However, Herbert stressed the public must continue to practice good hygiene and proper social distancing even though the risk factor has dropped. That means frequent hand washing and the use of masks when in public.

But, Herbert again stressed that lifting coronavirus restrictions will continue in an incremental manner. He added that he hoped most of the state would be moving into the “green” level, meaning full recovery, within the next few months.

Under the new “yellow” condition, team sports can return with frequent symptom checking for participants. Observers must maintain proper social distancing. Schools can offer driver education classes and swimming pools can open.

20200514 Yellow Guidelines

“In spite of this change, a lot of us need to still be careful and cautious,” said Herbert. “I would hope people would use common sense.”

Along with the lowering of the risk level, Herbert said the state’s moratorium on evictions for renters will be allowed to expire as well.

“We’ve analyzed the data and, as of April, 90 percent of renters are current on their rent,” he said. “With the monies that are flowing into the state, we believe it’s going to get even better.”

It’s been just 14 days since the state moved from a “red” to “yellow” condition. Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah state epidemiologist, says the state is confident they’re ready to drop to the lower alert level, but they’re prepared to reinstate restrictions if needed.

“We’re watching for trends, and we’re watching those very closely. We see positive trends and it made sense to move forward,” she said.