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Gov. Herbert Extends Public Health Directive, Adjusts Dine-In Guidelines

FILE: Gov. Gary Herbert.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governor Gary Herbert extended his public health directive for another two weeks, but announced a slight adjustment to the dine-in guidelines, allowing families to order and pick up their food from inside a restaurant.

The announcement was made during the state’s daily coronavirus media briefing Wednesday.

Herbert asked Utahns to continue to stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible for the next two weeks.

“We are going to reissue that (directive) today for another two weeks, up to April 15,” he said.

He extended the directive, but made a change to the dine-in policy.

“We’re going to modify that so people can actually go into a restaurant and order from the counter, and then pick up the food,” Herbert said, reminding customers to practice safe social distancing.

Salt Lake County officials quickly responded to the Governor’s announcement, issuing a press release that required residents to order their food online or at curbside pickups.

“The Salt Lake County Health Department’s March 29 public health order remains in effect, including the requirement that ordering food be done remotely and not in-person inside a food establishment,” the release said.

Officials went on to quote Utah Code 26A in the release saying, “Local health departments may be more restrictive than the State of Utah, and Salt Lake County believes its existing order offers the correct balance between allowing economic activity and preventing the spread of COVID-19 among residents.”

Herbert’s office has not responded to the county’s statement.

Gov. Herbert also said his recent directive that limited access to state parks was now being declared as an order.

“This is not just a suggestion,” he said. “This is a new order that the state parks are now only open to people who live in the county where the state park resides.”

He said state park personnel will be enforcing the order by checking visitor’s identification. Those who do not live in the same county as the park will be turned away.

The Governor addressed the desire of Utahns to get out and enjoy the warmer spring weather.

“We have vacation time coming up – spring break, general conference, and other things that traditionally people have used as travel days,” he said.

He urged Utahns to avoid traveling, reminding them to follow the guidelines issued under the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive.

“You should, in fact, avoid travel. Stay home, stay safe,” he said. “Any travel being done should be absolutely essential and necessary.”

He concluded his message by encouraging Utahns to practice good hygiene.

“Make sure we have good hygiene, all the things we’ve been talking about for these last three weeks – covering your cough, your sneeze,” he said. “Again, keeping clean is important to do, even if you’re staying in your own home.”

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