SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah state and Salt Lake County officials extend “Stay Safe, Stay Home” instructions and say what happens next is based on data in coming days and weeks.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert extended his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive until April 30, and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s order is also extended, but to May 1.

“There will be no substantial changes in that order, which means that we will continue our existing restaurant modifications. We will have specific business closures, as we have already stated,” Wilson said.

“We believe that adherence over the next couple of weeks to the directives we have in place will enable us to get from this state plan to move towards the stabilization effort and then to recovery,” Herbert said.

With confirmed COVID-19 cases in Utah nearing 2,000 (as of Thursday), Herbert and health officials now urge Utahns to wear homemade facemasks in public. As of last week, officials said it was not necessary, but now, they are asking the public to wear them as a precaution.

“An asymptomatic person is less likely to spread it [COVID-19] if they are wearing a mask,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

Dunn continues to say wearing a mask does not protect a person from contracting the virus, however, if you are asymptomatic, it will help others from catching it.

During a press conference, Wilson said the South Salt Lake Men’s Resource Center confirmed its first positive COVID-19 case. She said housing arrangements and testing is being made for those at the facility.

And during the governor’s press conference, he said all of Utah’s national parks are now closed to limit the virus’ spread in neighboring communities.

As officials continue to work to find solutions to COVID-19, both Wilson and Herbert said all decisions made are based on data.

“Salt Lake County will continue to make evidence-based decisions,” Wilson said. “We are focused on data.”

“The data we have shows what we’re doing is working,” Herbert said. “As I mentioned before, the two weeks ahead of us are the most critical and that’s still kinda the same today that the next two weeks are critical.”

As Utahns continue to practice social distancing, good hygiene, and wear masks in public, Wilson and Herbert said taking these measures is to help flatten the curve; which in turn, is meant to re-open the economy, one step at a time.

“We don’t believe we’ll be able to go from zero to 100, in terms of opening. We’re going to have to do it in a phased way,” Wilson said

Herbert invites Utahns of all faiths to join in fasting and prayer on Good Friday for relief from COVID-19.

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