SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Just one minute after midnight going from Thursday to Friday, the state of Utah will transition from the red phase to the orange phase in its fight against COVID-19.
“Our attitude, our hope for the future should be positive,” said Governor Gary Herbert at a news conference at the State Capitol Thursday.
That means the state’s risk level will go from high to moderate as 4,672 cases of coronavirus were reported by the state health department.
As a result, Governor Herbert has given the green light to restaurants, salons and some other establishments to once again reopen their doors.
“We see that we’ve done good things,” he said. “We’ve worked hard together, and we see the fruits of our labor as we move forward. So, we can have confidence in the communities that we live in throughout this state that they are all respectively doing the right things.”
Reopenings come with strict guidelines to protect against the spread of the virus. They include limits on gatherings of 20 people or less, wearing masks and continued social distancing.
The governor says officials will be monitoring potential hot spots as well as continue to prepare in case there’s a potential surge in coronavirus cases.
“We are now well prepared to test, trace and track those who have the COVID19 virus, and we can be ready to target any potential outbreaks that may occur in the future,” said Herbert. “We’re now ready to respond to any sort of surge like that. So, that should give us some hope and confidence going forward too.”
Herbert has also issued an executive order for the temporary suspensions of some statues for vehicle registrations through May 15th. It’s to help the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle offices as they deal with overcrowding.
Despite moving into the moderate-risk phase, Herbert said vulnerable populations including the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions and their caregivers are still considered to be high-at-risk.
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