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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Governor Herbert Updates State of Emergency, New Public Health Order Issued, Revisions to Employee Quarantine

November 24, 2020

Governor Herbert’s previous State of Emergency ended at midnight Monday, November 23 and a new public health order has been issued. The new health order took effect November 24 and will remain in effect until December 8, unless otherwise modified or amended.

The COVID-19 Transmission Index remains in place. All but three counties (Rich, Daggett, and Piute) are currently HIGH. The previous Phased Guidelines (or color-coded restriction levels) are no longer being used. View FAQs on the index here.

Public health order updates include:

The state mask mandate is no longer in effect, but the following apply:

        • The public must wear a mask anytime they are in an indoor public setting and they must also social distance.
        • The public must wear masks in outdoor public settings when social distancing is not possible.
        • Businesses, event hosts, and youth sports and extracurricular activities are open/allowed with requirements.
        • No restrictions mandated on gatherings in homes but guidelines apply as noted in the Health Guidance Document.

Employee quarantine updates include:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employees may have more than one exposure to COVID-19. Being asked to quarantine multiple times can place a tremendous financial burden on both employers and employees. Individuals may be reluctant to quarantine if they fear losing their job or not having enough money to pay for their living expenses.

The Utah Department of Health now recommends a shortened quarantine based on data and new science and the need to balance compliance and economic impact of quarantine guidelines in the workplace. The new guidance provides for a reduction from 14 days to seven days in quarantining time for employees exposed to COVID-19. Exposed employees that test negative for COVID-19 after seven days with no symptoms can go back to work.

The guidance assumes all employers and employees are complying with the statewide mask mandate, which requires all employees and contractors to wear a face mask while at work. This guidance is similar to the “low risk test and return” quarantine guidelines K-12 schools are now following in Utah.

This quarantine guidance only applies to workplace worksite exposures. It does not apply to household contacts or exposures in an employee’s personal life.

The requirements in the COVID-19 Transmission Index do not replace any laws, ordinances, or administrative rules that apply to a specific industry. The COVID-19 Transmission Index has been approved through a State Public Health Order. This means the actions for each level of transmission risk are requirements. State and local health departments have legal power and authority to enforce these requirements.