Gov. Herbert not immediately granting Salt Lake City’s request to move back to ‘moderate, orange’ phase

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City will not move back to the moderate orange phase of COVID-19 precautions as was recently requested by City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. The announcement came during Governor Herbert’s weekly COVID-19 press conference Thursday.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall formally requested the move back to orange on Tuesday. In a press release issued by her office, Mendenhall said that she requested the move to orange because of the increasing amount of positive COVID-19 cases in the city.

“Our data’s continuing upward trend is alarming and swift action is necessary. The shift to orange should be a signal to Salt Lake City residents of the gravity of this situation,” Mayor Mendenhall said in her initial request. “With this request, I hope to specifically target the behaviors that are leading to increased infections, like large gatherings and will work with state and county leaders and other stakeholders to tailor restrictions to those activities. We want to continually adapt and evolve necessary precautions to net the public health benefits we need so that we can impact these numbers without unnecessarily putting burdens on city residents and businesses. We all need to stay safe to keep businesses open.” 

During Thursday’s press conference the governor said that he is meeting with the state’s unified command to see what is working and not working for the state when it comes to COVID-19. The governor also said that other state leaders will be meeting next week to discuss if change is warranted in the state’s COVID-19 approach.

“We are going to keep doing what works and change what is not working,” Gov. Herbert said.

Gov. Herbert once again reiterated that he is reluctant to issue a statewide mask mandate and has continually encouraged local governments to make such decisions.

If Gov. Herbert were to grant Salt Lake City’s request to move to orange in the future, the move to the orange phase means that social gatherings would be limited to only 20 people instead of the 50 that is currently allowed in the yellow phase.

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