Due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity, authorities in Utah will tighten some restrictions and revise the state's COVID-19 guidance system on Oct. 15.

Under the county guidance system used to implement the state's economic recovery plan, which replaces the former four-tier color-coded system, counties will be categorized as one of three transmission levels: high, moderate, and low. The determinations are based on the county's case rates, positivity rates, and ICU capacity. Restrictions will be applied according to the county's transmission level.

At the Low Level of Transmission, authorities permit casual gatherings of up to 50 people, and more than 50 if all participants wear a facemask. All businesses and activities may resume, but authorities urge residents to maintain social distancing, wash hands regularly. Face masks are strongly encouraged, making facemasks a requirement will be left up to county officials. From Oct. 15, Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Kane, Piute, Rich, and Wayne counties are at the low level.

At the Moderate Level of Transmission, gatherings are limited to 10 people, facemasks are required in all indoor public spaces and outdoors where social distancing is not possible through Oct. 29. Businesses may remain open as long as proper safety measures are followed. From Oct. 15, Box Elder, Carbon, Davis, Grand, Iron, Millard, Morgan, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Unitah, Washington, and Weber counties are at the moderate level.

At the High Level of Transmission, gatherings are limited to 10 people and facemasks are required in all indoor public spaces and outdoors where social distancing is not possible. Businesses may open but they must follow proper social distancing and hygiene guidelines. From Oct. 15, Cache, Garfield, Juab, Salt Lake, Utah, and Wasatch counties are at the high level.

In all counties, regardless of transmission level, protective facemasks must be worn in any venue which allows public gatherings, such as weddings, houses of worship, live events, and movie theaters. All businesses must follow social distancing and sanitary procedures.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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