Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall talks COVID-19, Stay at Home orders, and business during online Q&A

Apr 20, 2020, 5:43 PM
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall talks COVID-19, Stay at Home orders, and business during onlin...
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall answered questions during an AMA on Facebook regarding when businesses will reopen. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City mayor Erin Mendenhall talks COVID-19 and how the city is handling it during an online Q&A with the Emerging Leaders Initiative of Utah.

Many asked the mayor what it would take to reopen up the economy. It’s a question she’s been asked a lot over the past few weeks.

Mendenhall indicated it would all be based on the numbers.

“[When] we see a transmission rate of less than one to one in the city for at least two weeks. That’s a benchmark we are going to be watching for. Consistent levels of widespread testing and contact tracing ability, and then that decrease in the number of cases that have no known source of exposure because that’s one of the data points that tell us what kind of community spread is happening,” Mendenhall said.

The mayor said that’s similar to the benchmarks the state of Utah has.

While Mendenhall supports Salt Lake County’s Stay at Home order, COVID-19 restrictions may be in place a lot longer in the city.

This is because Salt Lake City currently has the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in the state, with some downtown and west side neighborhoods especially hard hit.

“Salt Lake City isn’t the same as Riverton, and a county-wide declaration may not fit us and our residents…This is absolutely not a time for us to loosen our restrictions,” Mendenhall said.

She also said she doesn’t know of anyone who has been cited for violating the county’s order.

Mendenhall said the goal of the city and law enforcement is to educate, not punish people. However, it can be tough for officers to cite people gathered in large groups.

“When we confront them, they’re likely to say, and have said on many occasions, ‘This is my family. I live with these people.’ It becomes very difficult to say, ‘No, you don’t’ or ‘Prove it,'” Mendenhall said.

The Q&A was not all serious topics. Mendenhall reflected on her accomplishments over the past 100 days, including setting up a temporary homeless shelter and getting concessions on the Inland Port project.

She is also open to the idea of closing off some streets in Salt Lake City, even after the pandemic is over, to give people more options to walk around.

Related articles:

Mayor Mendenhall: Plan to reopen businesses in Salt Lake City like a “dial, not a light switch”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall talks COVID-19 on Twitter

Erin Mendenhall sworn in as new Salt Lake City Mayor


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 


COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet) 
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.) 
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information: 


State of Utah: 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

National Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States 




We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Elizabeth Weiler

Utahns found wallet in a wall from 1970, looking to reunite with owner

After a local restoration company was called to remediate an emergency, they began tearing down walls, leading to a wallet found in the insulation. 
17 hours ago
#twitterdown twitter badges shown...
Samantha Herrera

#TwitterDown trends earlier as users experienced difficulties posting

Users across the word are reporting an error code that claims their account has reached the daily limit for tweeting.
17 hours ago
george santos is pictured amongst other lawmakers, he and romney have been exchanging harsh words...
Samantha Herrera

GOP on GOP: Romney scolds Santos, ‘You don’t belong here’

Santos' presence at the center aisle to see and be seen with the arrivals was met with a stern rebuke from a fellow Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney.
17 hours ago
Follow @amandadickson...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: 6 thoughts we have before we call in sick to work

We all have those thoughts before we call in sick. From the paranoid to the considerate, here are some thoughts about making that call.
17 hours ago
Tom Haraldsen

All-Star fans! Oreo cookie wants to upgrade your NBA All-Star party!

NBA fans can add a little extra swagger to their All-Star Game party here in Salt Lake City, with just 10 more days until tip off.
17 hours ago
utah capitol pictured, a new bill about teacher salary has been filed...
Lindsay Aerts

Bill introduced to keep teacher salary increases on pace with inflation

A companion to the school choice bill that was recently made into law seeks to allow teacher salary increases to be adjusted to keep up with inflation.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall talks COVID-19, Stay at Home orders, and business during online Q&A