Utah Governor issues statewide mask mandate to stem coronavirus: “We all need to do more”

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Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency Sunday night and ordered a statewide mask warrant in an attempt to stem an outbreak of coronavirus hospitalizations of patients who test the state’s hospital capacity. Herbert and the Utah Department of Health have issued public health and leadership orders requiring residents to wear face masks in public, at work, and when within 6 feet of people who do not live not in their home.Several of the state’s largest counties were already in need of masks, but Herbert, a Republican, had resisted extending the rule statewide despite a two-month spate of cases.

Herbert said in a televised speech on Sunday evening that the time for the mask debate has passed, while saying his orders will not shut down the economy.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announces new state of emergency and COVID-19 restrictions in Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah Governor Gary Herbert announces a new state of emergency and COVID-19 restrictions in Salt Lake City, Utah, in this still image from a social media video, November 8, 2020. Utah Governor’s Office

Its new set of rules also calls for a two-week hiatus from extracurricular activities, including sporting events, with the exception of high school championship matches and intercollegiate sporting events, provided the test and distance guidelines social are respected. Herbert also ordered a limit on “occasional social gatherings” to household members only.

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