State Backtracks From Prohibition to Recommendation on Public Gatherings Order; Provides Further Clarity
By Kristin Forbis, Mar 21, 2020
The Utah Department of Health issued a State Public Health Order on Saturday, March 21st, backtracking the state order from a Prohibition on gatherings in groups larger than 10 to a Recommendation. The state makes it clear that this adjustment was made to clearly remove the potential criminal penalty associated when ordered as a Prohibition. “Implementing rigorous social distancing measures is crucial to preventing the spread of novel coronavirus, but we don’t want Utahns to feel like we are threatening them with criminal prosecution,” shares Governor Gary Herbert. “We strongly encourage Utahns to follow state recommendations to avoid group gatherings, so we can reduce the number of COVID-19 cases we see in Utah.” Saturday’s order also provides clarification for best practices for businesses serving the public and all business owners are urged to read the new order to become informed on those clarifications. TriCounty Health Department Executive Director Jordan Mathis says the state’s order on Saturday brings Utah closer to the recommendation coming from the White House. Mathis also emphasizes the need for businesses, especially food establishments, to read through the clarifications in the new order. For example, all take-out food orders are to be taken and preferably paid for over the phone or online. “This increases the likelihood of electronic transactions and reduces the likelihood of lines thus decreasing the likelihood of virus transmission from person to person,” explains Mathis. To view a copy of the full State Public Health Order issued on Saturday, March 21st, visit coronavirus.utah.gov. The document will also be shared on the TriCounty Health Department Facebook page.