UPDATE: 5/21/2020: Wasatch and Summit counties moved to ‘yellow/low risk’ phase in time for Memorial Day weekend

UPDATE 5/20/2020: Utah’s new plan, Utah Leads Together 3.0 will address the damage done to Utah’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the vulnerable.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- State health officials announced Thursday most of Utah is ready to move into the next phase of re-opening.

“I like the trend,” said Gov. Gary Herbert. “I like the numbers. I like what’s taking place. It gives me hope and optimism for the future.”

RELATED: WalletHub Study: Utah with 5th fewest coronavirus restrictions in the country

Last month the governor released Utah Leads Together 2.0. The plan has four color-coded levels of risk.

Currently, Utah is in the orange color or “moderate risk phase” but the governor announced most of the state is ready to move into the yellow color or “low-risk phase.”

“After looking at the trends, and the trends look good,” said Gov. Herbert. “After seeing that we’ve plateaued as we’ve gone from red to orange.”

RELATED: Eviction moratorium to expire on Friday throughout Utah

On Saturday, May 16th all of the state, except the following city or counties will be allowed to move into the next phase:

  • Grand County
  • Summit County
  • Wasatch County
  • Salt Lake City
  • West Valley City

RELATED: Salt Lake County asked for 10-day extension to stay at orange phase, State of Utah said no

In this phase face coverings must be worn in public settings, social distancing measures, and hygiene standards remain in place.

RELATED: Governor Herbert announces ‘A Mask for every Utahn’

Also in the phase, groups of 50 or fewer will be allowed, team sports can be played, and all businesses can operate (if they follow health protocols).

In every phase, high-risk individuals operate under stricter instructions because they are more likely to suffer severe illness from COVID-19. High-risk are those 65 years and older, live in a long-term care facility or people with underlying medical conditions.

The Utah Department issued the following statement regarding the decision-making process used to determine county risk status:

“Decisions about risk status for counties and municipalities are always made using the most current data, and in consultation with local public health officers.

“These discussions always begin with an overview of the health data, and also take into account the local economic and governmental considerations of each individual county.

“Decisions on which counties are placed in which risk phase are based on the totality of these discussions. Conversations are ongoing, and county and city risk factors will be re-evaluated utilizing the same process over the coming weeks and months.”

For more information on the “yellow phase” click the link.

Watch the announcement below

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