Utah Dems urge Gov. Herbert to issue statewide stay-at-home order

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert shares updates during a COVID-19 pandemic press conference Monday, March 30, 2020, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News, via AP, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News)- Utah is one of a handful states that has not issued a mandatory stay at home order statewide.

Governor Herbert has issued a directive called “Stay Safe, Stay Home” asking people to only go out for essentials and to mind social distancing rules, but the directive is not necessarily being enforced.

Sunday U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on the few states remaining, including Utah, to issue the order.

“If you can’t give us 30 days, governors, give us a week, give us what you can so that we don’t overwhelm our health care systems over this next week, and then let’s reassess,” Adams said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

Monday the Utah House Democratic Caucus joined in that plea to the governor:

“Utahns have done some great things so far in responding to the threat of the coronavirus. But we must do more. Governor Herbert must send a stronger, clearer message to every person in the state about the severe threat of COVID-19 to our health, our welfare, and our economic well-being,” a statement from the group read.

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“We know this pandemic will likely kill hundreds or thousands of people in our state. We do not believe that the current voluntary Stay-Safe-Stay-Home program is as effective in slowing the spread of this virus as an explicit stay-at-home order. The strength of an order from the Governor, combined with the other excellent components of what Utah leaders have already done and are doing, will make us all more aware of the need to follow safe practices at this critical time. The public health community is telling us that more aggressive action in the form of a public order for people in non-essential activities to stay home is the most effective way of reducing the rate of the spread of the infection. Staying at home will also give Utah a quicker and more robust economic recovery.  But most importantly, a Stay-At-Home order will save the lives of Utahns.

Utah’s House Democrats strongly call on Governor Herbert to immediately order all state residents engaged in non-essential activities to stay at home.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall Friday called on the governor for the same thing. There is also a petition started by Salt Lake City physicians assistant Lily Everett with over 16,800 signatures calling on the governor to take action.

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