Utah’s government launched a new “Level of Transmission” index on Tuesday. It will provide a more scientific way for assessing each county’s Covid situation, along with new restrictions created to fight the current rise in cases. Color-coded guidelines are discontinued.
Wasatch County is one of six Utah counties currently on “high transmission” risk. Levels will be reassessed weekly. They are determined by looking at case rates per 100K, percent of test positivity, and statewide ICU usage.
The Governor did not enact a statewide mask requirement, as some have asked him to do. However, masks are required in the “high level” counties and in the “moderate” level until 10/29.
The new guidelines emphasize care being taken during casual gatherings between family and friends. These small social gatherings are considered to be one of the main causes for the current high numbers in Utah.
In Wasatch County, under the high designation, the following restrictions are now in place, according to coronavirus.utah.gov:
- Casual social gatherings are now limited to 10 or fewer people. This doesn’t include “formal religious services” or events “overseen by a formal organization.”
- Masks are required for “public indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing is not feasible.”
- Restaurants, including bars and buffets, must maintain six feet between parties at all times (including waiting and seating areas.)
- Other establishments allowing public gathering, including live events, movie theaters, sporting events, weddings, recreation, and entertainment, must require masks (performers excluded) and six feet distancing between household groups. (Rare exceptions to distancing may be requested, but are highly discouraged.)
- Business owners also have additional restrictions, which are available on the website.
Wasatch County’s Covid numbers will be reviewed each week. The “High” transmission level may be lowered after 14 days, depending on if the county is meeting threshold numbers.
“Over the last 4 weeks, we’ve seen our infection rates and case counts skyrocket to the highest they’ve ever been,” said Utah Governor Gary Herbert. “It’s really time for a new game plan.”
Additional information is available at https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels/.