20200409 Herbert covid presser

Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he was extending his “stay safe, stay home” directive until the end of April, but he had not heard from the White House about implementing a mandatory statewide stay at home order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

So far, Utah is one of 8 states to not issue a stay at home order for residents amid the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Herbert is asking residents to “stay safe, stay home” on a voluntary basis, but local entities can enforce stricter measures if they choose. 

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that new White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has been lobbying the governors of those states, all Republicans, to enact a statewide order. Herbert says Meadows’ has contacted him to set up a phone call, but they have not spoken yet.

“I have spoken with (White House adviser) Dr. Anthony Fauci, and he says what we’re doing is very much in line with other states have been doing,” said Herbert. “I think he’s very pleased with what we’re doing and the results we’re getting, so we want to continue in that direction.”

“We’re going to look at the data tells us we should be doing. Data is driving our policy, and we’re trying to make sure this is not driven by just emotion or by fear,” Herbert continued.

Utah’s Stay Home, Stay Safe home self-quarantine has been extended to the end of April, not much of a surprise.

Gov. Gary Herbert still said Thursday that he hopes Utah can move on to the “sustain” phase of fighting the coronavirus should happen “shortly,” saying in his daily press conference: “We are close, around the corner.”

One model, out of the University of Washington, shows Utah’s pandemic will hit a peak around April 25. But that doesn’t mean when the downturn comes it will be safe, or recommended, that the public stop provisions now taking place.

In fact, Herbert asked all Utahns to wear clothe face masks anytime they go to retail stores -- especially grocery stores.

He said everyone should try to pick-up prepared restaurant food at least three times a week -- to help those businesses stay afloat before the government says it is OK to attend in-building dining again.

Intermountain Healthcare officials announced that they have set up a free mental health call-center at 832-442-2211. That call is free.