March 12, 2020 COVID-19 Announcements for Utah

Announcements from Gov. Gary R. Herbert, the
Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, the Utah
Department of Health, and the Utah Association of Local
Health Departments

These proactive measures to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Utah
communities are effective for the next two weeks beginning on Monday, March 16,
2020. At that time, the Utah Coronavirus Task Force will re-evaluate these
recommendations to determine the most appropriate actions we need to take as a state
to keep Utahns healthy.

Limit mass gatherings of more than 100 people if everyone in the group is
healthy, including church.

This includes gatherings such as church and religious services, concerts, conferences,
and other events or places where large numbers of people gather together.

This recommendation does not currently apply to public K-12 grade schools. We ask
that local school districts and schools with closely with their local health officers on a
case-by-case basis to determine if or when it is appropriate to close schools.

If you are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions which put you at
an increased risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19, you should not attend any mass
gatherings.

Stay home if you are sick. We ask employers for leniency and tolerance for employees
who are sick and need to stay home to help prevent the spread of this disease.

If you are older than the age of 60 or are immunocompromised, you should limit
your participation in groups of more than 20 at a time.

Anyone who is immunocompromised or who has underlying medical conditions which
puts them at an increased risk for severe symptoms for COVID-19 should avoid
gatherings with 20 or more people. This recommendation does not apply to businesses.
If you can work from home, we are asking business leaders to implement
teleworking as soon as possible.

Businesses should allow employees to telework immediately, if feasible. We encourage
business leaders to make teleworking available to as many employees as possible and
expand what they may already be doing in this regard.Long-term care facilities will have restricted or screened access.

Local health departments must protect our most vulnerable citizens. We ask that local
health departments work closely with long-term care facilities to restrict visitor access
and monitor employees and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19.

All Utah Systems of Higher Education institutions are ‘going digital’. Campuses
and campus services will remain open. Labs will still be held.

Encourage social distancing and travel restrictions for students, employees, and staff.
Restrict nonessential travel for employees. School-sponsored events and gatherings
should be canceled. Classes will be conducted online as immediately as possible
K-12 schools (public, charter, private) are being asked to prepare to close. There
is a 3 tiered plan in place for this, called “Ready, Set, Go.”

Closing a school is a local decision supported by the state and public health officials.
The decision to close a school should not be made out of fear or anxiety but rather in
close coordination with your local health officer. Do not close schools unless there is an
imminent threat to students and staff and in close coordination with your local health
officer. Additional guidance on school closures is forthcoming.

All school related out-of-state travel is canceled. Extracurricular activities will be
evaluated by local health officers in consultation with schools. Schools should begin
planning to postpone or cancel large school-sponsored events and gatherings, such as
assemblies, conferences, sporting events, etc. again, in consultation with their local
health officer. Consider staggering recesses, lunch times, and the start and end times of
school dismissal so students aren’t gathered in large numbers at one time.

Teachers and staff should amplify hygiene measures in the classroom such cleaning
high-touch surfaces regularly and having students wash their hands more frequently
before and after lunch, recess, etc.

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