Salt Lake County Mayor Calls For Statewide ‘Stay-At-Home’ Order

Apr 2, 2020, 3:47 PM | Updated: 8:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson called for a statewide “stay-at-home” order saying it would help ensure the hospitals are not overrun with patients.

“Our hospital system is connected across the state, and the virus does not recognize county lines, and some of our rural hospitals have no or limited hospital beds, that is why this is so critical,” said Mayor Wilson.

Wilson said the numbers show social distancing is working in Utah, but a statewide order to stay home is needed to make sure it keeps working.

“I believe the number is 38 states have now gone to an entire state order, and I think it’s time (in Utah),” said Wilson.

Wilson’s call came during a weekly COVID-19 briefing in Salt Lake County Thursday. She issued a “stay-at-home” directive for the county, but said it was not being enforced with tickets or citations.

“I fear that as cases increase, if we don’t social distance in rural communities and other places, that those hospitals will be overwhelmed,” said Wilson.

Salt Lake County has 463 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday, which is the most in the state, according to the Utah Department of Health. Wilson said the county would have been at that number back on March 15 if people didn’t practice social distancing. But Gary Edwards, director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, said he has big concerns for the 21- to 40-year-old age group in the county, adding that they currently make up 45 percent of those positive cases.

“If we can’t get a better control on this age group, we won’t continue to see a decline in the number of cases that was shown previously,” Edwards said. “This signals that this significant population has not taken the social distancing message seriously.”

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Wednesday that he was extending his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive until April 15. He strongly urged Utahns to avoid unnecessary travel and outdoor plans, especially as the warmer spring weather moves in and causes families to violate certain health orders.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Calls For Statewide ‘Stay-At-Home’ Order