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Box Elder, Carbon Counties will transition to “green” Friday

Gov. Gary Herbert announced the request of Box Elder and Carbon Counties to move to the "green" phase of coronavirus recovery will be granted, to take effect Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Photo: KSL NewsRadio via Facebook Live

SALT LAKE CITY — Two more Utah counties, Box Elder and Carbon Counties, will transition from the “yellow” phase of the state’s color-coded coronavirus response plan, to “green,” meaning fewer restrictions for residents. 

Gov. Gary Herbert announced the state would grant the request for Box Elder and Carbon Counties to move to green Thursday as state officials updated the COVID-19 situation in Utah. 

Other counties are in line to move “into the green,” but that move can’t be approved until infection rates are low enough.

He says, “It’s not a matter of just making the request.  It’s also having the data to back it up.”

Even after those counties move into the low-risk area, Herbert says it would be a huge mistake for people to believe the risk has gone away, completely.  He says if people don’t follow public safety guidelines, restrictions would have to be heightened, again.  Herbert says the last thing they want is for a county to move back into the yellow after it had been approved to go green.

“I want to emphasize to people, this doesn’t mean the risk level is going down.  In fact, in some instances, because we now have the ability to have social gatherings, under a ‘green’ condition, you might have a higher risk,” the governor says.  “We’re concerned about Utah County.  They’re really now leading the state when it comes to the infection rate.”

The Utah Department of Health reported an increase of 346 COVID-19 cases in Utah Thursday, bringing the state to 56,019 confirmed cases since the outbreak began. 

State officials reported an additional three deaths, for a total of 430. All three patients were residents of long-term care facilities. 

The health department says the rolling seven-day average of positive cases per day is currently at 381, with an average percent positive rate of 9.1%.  Overall, state officials are optimistic about the decline in new cases, and they say the state is in a good position to handle the patient load we’re seeing.

Herbert says, “We’re only using about six percent or seven percent of the ICU units for COVID-19 patients, so a small percentage, and only about two percent of overall hospital beds.”

Contributing: Paul Nelson

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