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Public can join Utah legislative process in-person, remote options remain

(Utah State Capitol Complex. Credit: Paul Nelson, file)

SALT LAKE CITY — Those Utahns who wish to participate in the legislative process at the Utah State Capitol complex can do so in person, beginning Monday, Jan. 25.

And, because space is limited due to physical distancing requirements and the presence of the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), a virtual option for the public viewing of legislative activity remains in place.

According to an email from the office of the Utah Senate, because of the ongoing transmission risk of COVID-19, the virtual option is highly encouraged.

“The health and safety of all Utahns remain[s] our number one priority as we accommodate in-person attendance at the Capitol,” said Senate President J. Stuart Adams.

“Public input is essential in maintaining the legislative process and steps were quickly taken to ensure in-person public participation and proper health and safety measures.

“We hope Utahns will continue to provide their valuable feedback and utilize the virtual or in-person option.”

Changes and requirements to in-person option

If members of the public want to participate in a committee meeting, they must wear a mask and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

Visitors should expect a non-invasive bag check by members of the UHP, whose officers will also have “an active presence and provide security for each committee meeting to protect the public, staff, and elected officials,” according to the Senate email.

“The past year has taught us to be flexible and adaptable,” said Speaker Brad Wilson. “While we initially only allowed for virtual public participation, we now look forward to the public rejoining us in person.

“We will continue to adapt to whatever is thrown our way. The health and safety of our lawmakers, staff, and the public will continue to be the top priority.”

Members of the public are not required to have been recently tested for COVID-19, but it is recommended. Free rapid testing is available at the Utah State Fairgrounds. Information about rapid testing and legislative procedures as they relate to COVID-19 can be found here.

Virtual access remains an option

The public can access all committee meetings and legislative floor debates on the legislative website. More information regarding how to participate virtually can be found here.

Free rapid testing is available at the Utah State Fairgrounds for those interested in attending in person. Testing is recommended, but not required. If you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, please participate from home.

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.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • 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