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Salt Lake County mayor’s request to stay in the “orange” phase denied

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced on Thursday that most places in Utah will transition from an “orange” risk level to “yellow”, meaning there will be fewer COVID-19 restrictions. That does not sit well with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. 

The mayor’s request to keep all parts of the county at an “orange” risk level, not just Salt Lake City and West Valley City, has been denied by the state. 

Mayor Wilson explained her disappointment on Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL News Radio. 

“We recognize that the virus does not respect municipal boundaries, and that we all live and work in various places in this county,” Wilson said. 

In a statement, Wilson also pointed out that Salt Lake County’s active positive case rate for COVID-19 is four times the State‚Äôs, while there are also several hotspots. 

However, Mayor Wilson does not intend to fight the state’s decision. 

One Salt Lake area lawmaker is more supportive of Governor Herbert’s actions. 

State Senator Derek Kitchen (D-Salt Lake City) told those in an online forum hosted by the Emerging Leaders Initiative that while Utah needs to open, it needs to do so carefully. 

“The population [in Salt Lake City] doubles Monday through Friday…We have big influxes of people coming in, so I think it’s important to me and my constituents that we manage and mitigate those risks and take them very seriously,” Kitchen said.