‘Our intent was voluntary compliance’: Gov. Herbert clears up confusion over county health orders


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News)— The governor of Utah is standing by his tweet which calls  on both Salt Lake and Utah County to repeal recent health orders.

Thursday evening, Salt Lake County issued a health order similar to Utah County. 
Both orders mirror what the state already has in place which limits all public gatherings to 10 people or fewer for the next 30 days. That order is a directive from President Donald Trump. 

However, county health officials asserted that violations of any public health order can be punishable as a class A or B misdemeanor.

Governor Gary Herbert took to Twitter to call on the counties to repeal that order saying the state nor the Utah Department of Health was consulted before these changes. 

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson released a statement reading in part. 

“By state law, a locality cannot be less restrictive than the state. Therefore, today, in order to be in legal compliance with the state’s order, Salt Lake County simply mirrored the state order and did not add any additional limitations.”

At a news conference Friday morning, the governor took time to clear the air. 

“Our communication probably wasn’t as good as it could have been and I was a little concerned as most of you noticed when two of our local health departments issued an order to reflect what we said but emphasizing the penalties when our intent was to have this more of a voluntary compliance,” the governor said. 

Right now, the governor said he is working with county health departments to come up with a clearer order, but stresses the importance of social distancing. 


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