At 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, most areas of Utah will be making the transition to the low-risk, "yellow" category of coronavirus mitigation efforts. However, Grand County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Salt Lake City, and West Valley City will continue to be in the moderate "orange" risk category.
Even with the lower risk category, Governor Gary Herbert said people should still be practicing social distancing and wear masks.
“These decisions are not made in the vacuum," said Herbert. "This is done in consultation with the local health departments in conjunction with the state health department, the local elected officials, which includes the community at large. And we like the trend. We don't want to be too late on this. We do not want to be too early either. And so we defer a lot to the people in the local communities what they would like to see happen.”
Areas in the yellow risk category will be able to open up driver education opportunities, travel, and the size limit for social gatherings will increase to 50 people. Team sports will also be allowed again, with regulations and symptom checking put into place.
With the ending of the current ‘orange’ order approaching and evidence of a positive trend in coronavirus case numbers, the coronavirus task force felt it made sense to move to the "yellow" category.
“Some areas of the state are doing much better than others when we're in red," explained Herbert. "And so it's almost like we've skipped over maybe the orange part, because they've been so effective in some of the rural parts of Utah where social distancing is the norm, but we haven't had quite the spread so that gave them a little bit of a leg up so March date really was not hard to get from orange to yellow.”
Officials will be looking at the daily numbers and reevaluate if a change is necessary.