Gov. Herbert announces ‘major changes’ to Utah’s COVID-19 guidelines

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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)

Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert took to social media Tuesday morning explaining that weeks of surging COVID-19 cases have led him to institute major changes, which were announced in a news conference at 1:30 p.m.

“I, like you am tired of 2020,” said Gov. Herbert during the conference. Utah has been hovering around 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day since Oct. 4, the highest they have been during the pandemic. “We are having one of the worst outbreaks in the country,” Gov. Herbert later said.

The governor was joined by representatives from the Utah Department of Health who made changes to the states COVID-19 guidance system, including new restrictions.

Utah will now follow a new COVID-19 Transmission Index where metrics will be determined. Each Utah county will fall under three metrics, high, moderate, and low. The Transmission Index calculates the level of COVID-19 transmission in each county by analyzing three data points – percent positivity of tests, cases per 100,000, and hospital capacity.

Masks are required if you live in a High Transmission Area. For the next two weeks, the Department of Health is also directing masks to be worn in Moderate Transmission Areas.

The Utah Department of Health will also issue a Public Health Order for all persons living in High and Moderate Transmission Areas, limit casual social gatherings to 10 individuals or fewer, for a period of two weeks beginning Thursday, Oct. 15.

“These changes come out of days of round-the-clock discussions with public health experts and legislative leaders,” Gov. Herbert said.

ABC4 will update this story as it develops.

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