Gov. Herbert Announces Updated Plan For Opening Utah Economy
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Governor Gary Herbert at a press conference Friday announced an update to the state’s plan on opening the economy.
Herbert said the state parks are now open to everyone except those under local health order restrictions. He also said he’s hopeful that Utah can begin easing restrictions at the beginning of May, including those restrictions on in-house dining, elective surgeries, and gyms.
Restrictions on @UtahStateParks have been lifted by @GovHerbert . @UtahStateParks are open to all visitors. Some limitations remain at certain parks as a result of local health orders, so check those before heading out. Local orders can be found at: https://t.co/HyWXY9gJ4Q pic.twitter.com/yUfCi7FqqC
— Utah DNR (@UtahDNR) April 17, 2020
Some of those restrictions can only be lifted as long as Utahns continue to adhere to the Stay Safe, Stay Home directive, Herbert said.
The governor noted that the state has had a plan in place that he said has been working to flatten the curve and get the state back on track. The timeline of Utah’s plan includes three phases: urgent, stabilization, and recovery. Herbert said Utah is at the end of the “urgent” phase.
That means the state will continue social distancing, increasing testing and maintaining public health orders limiting certain activities.
LIVE: Gov. Herbert and other state leaders are holding a press conference with details on how and when Utah will stabilize and reactivate the economy.
Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, April 17, 2020
The stabilization phase is expected to continue through September, according to the Utah Leads Together 2.0 plan.
“Together, we can actually improve, get out of urgency and into stabilization,” Herbert said. “… We’re close. We’re not quite there yet.”
“Now’s not the time for us to pull back from our safety protocols,” he added.
Herbert was joined at the press conference by other state leaders, including Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, Utah Speaker of the House Brad Wilson, Brandy Grace from the Utah Association of Counties, Derek Miller from the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, and Sister. Jean B. Bingham from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Wilson said Utah is still in a high-risk phase when it comes to returning to business as usual. He said the state is in a position to cautiously begin the steps to reopening the state economy.
We first started meeting on this issue on March 2, says @GovHerbert.
We are still in an urgent phase of response, which has meant social distancing, increased testing, and public health orders limiting certain activities.
But good things are happening. pic.twitter.com/b1iDWRN4Qg
— Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force (@UtahCoronavirus) April 17, 2020
Miller said that getting businesses’ doors open does not necessarily mean the economy will be revitalized.
“It is one thing for businesses to be open,” he said. “It is another for a customer to feel safe when walking through that door.”
Miller said businesses owners need to work to protect the public health and the public trust.
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