Utah reaches criteria to lift COVID-19 public health orders

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Department of Health has announced that all of Utah’s public health orders have been lifted due to the state reaching COVID-19 thresholds in a bill previously passed by Utah State Legislature.

The bill, House Bill 294, also known as the COVID-19 “endgame bill,” previously stated that Utah’s public health orders would be lifted if and when the following conditions were met:

  • Utah’s 14-day case rate is less than 191 per 100,000 people (currently 163.4)
  • State’s seven-day average COVID-19 ICU usage is less than 15% (currently 11.2%)
  • More than 1,633,000 prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to the state (1,656,025 doses have currently been allocated to Utah)

The announcement signals the end of statewide restrictions on social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings. The mask mandates in Salt Lake City and Grand County have also been lifted now that these thresholds have been met.

Businesses will still have the right to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing.

In a letter notifying legislative leadership the criteria have been met, UDOH Executive Director Rich Saunders said, “I understand HB294 has been controversial. Important, legitimate arguments having been made on all sides of the issues. But today should give all of us reason to celebrate. No matter which side someone falls on, we can all be proud of the outcomes we have achieved so far.”

However, while HB294 ends most public health orders, the UDOH also issued State Public Health Order 2021-11 Tuesday. This order states that masks will still be required in K-12 schools and participants in high school sports or extracurricular activities must undergo routine COVID-19 testing.

“It’s important not to give up the ground we have gained, especially in our schools,” said Saunders. “We’re asking teachers, administrators, parents, and students to please hang in there, and finish the year on a healthy note.”

The Utah Department of Health reported 259 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, May 4. Thirteen new virus-related deaths were also reported in the state, with 10 occurring before April 1.

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