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Gov. approves move to “green” for Sevier Co., “yellow” for SLC

Gov. Gary Herbert addresses reporters via video conference on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. The state medical examiner addressed how COVID-19 deaths are determined. Screen grab from

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert approved a request from Sevier Co. to move to the “green” phase of the state’s COVID-19 response plan, at the same time he granted Salt Lake City’s request to go to “yellow.” 

Both requests take effect on Friday. Sevier Co. will be the 11th in Utah to move to the “green” category in the state’s COVID-19 response plan

What does green and yellow mean? 

The green phase under Utah’s color-coded plan means that an area is under minimal restrictions. However, residents in green areas are still advised to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as hand washing, physical distancing, and staying home when sick. 

For Salt Lake City, a move from “orange” to “yellow” means social gatherings are still limited to groups of fewer than 50 people. But some activities that have not been allowed under orange guidelines can resume. For example, the guidelines allow for schools to be held in person, though the Salt Lake City School District opted to remain online for now. 

Latest COVID-19 numbers

The news came during a weekly update on coronavirus in Utah. State officials noted while case counts of COVID-19 remain below the “400 cases per day” goal set for the beginning of September, the rolling 7-day average has been creeping up. 

The Utah Department of Health reported 504 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, for a total of 53,326 positive cases in the state since the start of the pandemic. The rolling 7-day average of cases increased to 394, and the rolling 7-day average for percent positive lab tests edged up to 9.4%. 

State officials say 120 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah currently. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 3,153 people have required hospitalization in the state. 

The state reported four additional deaths Thursday, bringing the state’s total attributed to COVID-19 to 414. Of the four, three were residents of Salt Lake County, and one lived in Utah County. Two of the Salt Lake County residents were men between the ages of 45 and 64 who were hospitalized at the time of their death. The third was a man over the age of 85, who was also hospitalized at the time of his death. The Utah County resident was identified as being hospitalized and between the ages of 65 and 84. 

The state considers 44,995 of its COVID-19 cases to be “recovered,” meaning the diagnosis date was more than three weeks ago and the patient did not die.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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