Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall declared a State of Local Emergency Tuesday evening to prepare for the potential spread of COVID-19.

“While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Salt Lake City, it is important that we act preemptively to prepare now. Doing so will help us to ensure our city’s financial stability, and the continuity of vital operations in the event that we experience the spread of this virus,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “This declaration will equip us with necessary resources and abilities should the need arise.”

The declaration will ensure that Salt Lake City is able to access both state and federal funding and assistance if necessary. It also allows Mayor Mendenhall to invoke rules in order to protect the citizens of Salt Lake City, including ingress or egress restrictions, curfew, and other preventative actions to ensure the safety of the City’s citizens.

“While we hope that we won’t have to use any powers under this declaration, ultimately the best thing we can do as a city for our residents is to be prepared,” Mendenhall said.

As Salt Lake City prepares for potential virus spread, plans include how the city will continue critical public services and support the unique needs of vulnerable populations. Measures have been put in place to ensure wellbeing of the city’s public safety personnel and to coordinate with the county and state on ensuring the continuity of emergency management operations.