SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall is calling for a statewide stay at home order but on Friday Utah Governor Gary Herbert reiterated his reasons for not issuing one.
Thirty-eight states including neighboring Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona are currently under statewide orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with Utah and Wyoming remaining two of the 12 holdouts.
Salt Lake City physicians assistant Lily Everett has collected over 12,400 signatures on an online petition to get Utah to issue a statewide order. On Friday she told ABC4 that it would save numerous lives, but Governor Herbert says he has to balance the public health benefits with the economic implications of a stay at home mandate.
“We don’t want to end up having the vice grip on the economy any more than is happening right now so it’s a balancing act,” Gov. Herbert said. “I think we’re balancing it pretty good. We give local control for the regional differences. I think we’ve struck the right balance. We’ll continue to monitor that. If people don’t comply we can take more aggressive steps if we think that’s necessary.”
The governor also cited Utah’s relatively low rate of positive COVID-19 tests, around five percent of people tested, as a reason to remain under a directive, rather than an order.
“We monitor that every day,” Gov. Herbert said. “And if all of a sudden we had a major spike, an outbreak of some extraordinary means, that would certainly be an example of what would cause us to maybe change and reflect and review the corona orders we have in place.”
For more information on COVID-19 in Utah, go to https://coronavirus.utah.gov/
View Everett’s petition here.