SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Department of Health has set an exit date for when parts of the state can remove mandated face coverings.
In an interview with FOX 13, UDOH executive director Rich Saunders said that eight weeks after Utah hits 1.6 million primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine allocated, counties in the low transmission index can lift mask mandates. Right now, Utah is at about 444,000 primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There’s an epidemiological endpoint which is no new cases for 28 straight days and then there’s got to be more of a practical end vision that we’ll get to a lot sooner, where we can make some serious adjustments,” he said.
The latest public health order issued by Saunders late Monday reflects the change in direction. It also tweaks some physical-distancing requirements for counties in the moderate transmission level.
But Saunders cautioned those things could change again.
“So yeah, we’re trying to forge that definition and that description now,” he said. “What we’ve described today is not what it’s going to look like in a month or two months, we’re just starting to forge that vision now.”
The latest public health order also tweaks some of the restrictions for COVID-19 in schools and businesses. For K-12 schools, testing will now be required of all high school students participating in a one-time school-sponsored extracurricular activity such as a dance. Students will also be offered COVID testing in schools.
Bars in the moderate transmission index no longer have to limit occupancy to 75%, so long as they can ensure patrons wear masks within 6-feet of another party. Also in moderate transmission, movie theaters, sporting events, wedding venues and other entertainment can now have side-by-side seating if all patrons wearing masks can attest to being free from any COVID-19 symptoms and are not subject to quarantine. Masks may be removed to eat or drink, but the 6-foot physical distancing is required in that instance.
This is a breaking news story. Updates on FOX 13 and fox13now.com as information becomes available.