Gov. Herbert, Dr. Dunn Answer Questions On New Executive Order

Nov 9, 2020, 9:21 AM | Updated: 2:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert and state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn answered questions about the state’s new state of emergency and executive and public health orders.

The new executive order implements a statewide mask mandate, requirements that masks and physical distancing between household groups at all businesses including bars and restaurants, and a weekly testing policy on college campuses.

For the next two weeks, it limits gatherings to the same household only and puts youth and high school sports and activities on pause.

There are exemptions in the order, which allow for groups to gather for educational and religious purposes and intercollegiate athletic events and high school championships to continue.

As for private businesses, they will have to require all employees wear face masks, ask patrons to wear face masks, require at least 6 feet of physical distance between household groups, and ask individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to stay home.

The governor clarified that there has already been a mask mandate in place for most of the state over the past month. He said the mandate was made statewide in part to help eliminate confusion.

The No. 1 reason, though, is to stem the rising cases and hospitalization utilization, he said.

Dunn said that if all Utahn adhere to the public health orders, then the state should see an effect in two weeks – and that includes increasing testing.

She noted that as health officials identify more cases, those people will be able to isolate and stop their ability to spread the virus. Eventually, that increased testing will lead to a lower percent of positive tests.

The governor was asked if the timing of his order had anything to do with politics.

Herbert said the decision to issue the orders now were not politically motivated, and he lamented the fact that public health efforts have been politicized.

Utah authorities have been consistently working to find the best policy to protect the health and welfare of the people of Utah, he said.

Herbert added that he believes people will unite for the common good.

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Gov. Herbert, Dr. Dunn Answer Questions On New Executive Order