HEALTH

Herbert likely to grant SL Co. mayor’s request for mask-mandating power

Jun 24, 2020, 4:16 PM | Updated: 4:39 pm

herbert covid-19...

At a news conference Wednesday June 24, 2020, Gov. Gary Herbert revealed one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Photo: KSL NewsRadio/Facebook

SALT LAKE CITY — As long as the data backs up the request, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he is likely to grant Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson the power to mandate masks to fight COVID-19. 

Herbert said he received Wilson’s request and planned to meet with state officials Thursday to discuss it. At that meeting, Herbert said they will review case counts and other available information.

 

He said he is “inclined” to say yes, but the official decision would come only after reviewing the data. 

No statewide mask mandate 

Herbert said he will not issue a statewide mandate to wear masks. He said he prefers to leave local governance to local officials. 

However, he encouraged all Utahns to consider wearing a mask to protect others when they can’t be at least six feet away.

“Data clearly shows that the simple courtesy of wearing a mask in public when social distancing is not possible is a very effective and low-cost way to prevent the spread of disease,” Herbert tweeted. 

He also said he would require people who do business with the state to wear masks. 

“Today, I am also signing an executive order that requires mask wearing at all state facilities under the purview of the executive Office of the Governor,” he said. “This will include state higher educational facilities and our DABC outlets.”

No green status for Utah yet 

Because of the sharp uptick in Utah cases of COVID-19, Herbert said the state would not consider any requests to relax color-coded guidelines for at least the next two weeks. 

“All Utahns should be very concerned about the recent increases in infections and how that could impact our hospital capacity. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones,” Herbert said. 

Most of Utah remains in the “yellow” phase of the state’s Utah Leads Together plan. Yellow denotes low risk; some of the more rural areas in the state moved to “green” earlier this month. Salt Lake City remains “orange.” 

Regardless of the color-code of the area where you live, Herbert said if you are considered high-risk, you should take extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Herbert staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Herbert told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19. 

Without identifying the staff member, Herbert told reporters the staffer was receiving medical care. 

“I was not directly exposed during this period,” he said, “nor was Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.” 

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, state employees have been observing strict guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“All members of my staff have been monitored for symptoms. As they come into the office, they’re checked, and they’re required to wear a face mask at work,” Herbert said. 

Clarifying the memo 

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn also spoke briefly at Wednesday’s news conference to clarify her own comments in a widely circulated memo to state employees. 

The memo, she said, was intended to provide advice and options, not to suggest she wants the state’s economy to shut down. 

“My intention in the memo was not to say that we should shut down. No one wants that,” she said. 

She said her comments were meant to give stakeholders the best possible information as they make decisions for the health of all Utahns. 

“We as Utahns should feel proud that leadership is willing to listen to all of these opinions and strike the right balance moving forward,” Dunn said. 

This story is developing and will be updated. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, 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.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

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 Resources

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.

Health

Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

3 days ago

North American hospitals are seeing a major increase -- 416% over the last two decades -- in teen m...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Decades-long study shows increase in eating disorders among young males

The study showed hospitalizations for young males with eating disorders were up 139%, and even higher in young teens.

3 days ago

Containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in ...

Jessica Lowell

The future of IVF in Utah following the Alabama Supreme Court embryo ruling

One expert says they won't know if Utah would interpret its wrongful death statute the same way Alabama did until a case came up .

3 days ago

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

Don Brinkerhoff

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Colon cancer deaths are rising and people are dying at a much younger age according to the American Cancer Society.

3 days ago

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Aimee Cobabe

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments.

4 days ago

woman with a therapeutic device on her head to treat depression...

LAURA UNGAR

A brain pacemaker helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon be available to more people

Researchers say deep brain stimulation, or DBS — could eventually help many of the nearly 3 million Americans with treatment-resistance depression.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Herbert likely to grant SL Co. mayor’s request for mask-mandating power