UTAH (AP) — Gov. Gary Herbert announced on Tuesday that he is increasing pandemic restrictions in two Utah cities, Provo and Orem, in response to surges of COVID-19 in the state.
The restrictions will limit social gatherings to 20 people starting on Wednesday in Provo and Orem. However, the state health department is granting one exception to allow team sports, but without spectators.
Gov. Herbert stopped short of implementing any mask mandates in the state, but Utah County, where the two cities are located, has issued a public health order as of Tuesday requiring face coverings in Provo.
That order is effective immediately and will be set to expire on Oct. 20th. The order will not carry any criminal penalties.
Cases in Utah County have grown by 81% in the last week, and the county has accounted for 42% of the state’s overall increase in COVID-19 cases, according to Dr. Angela Dunn, the state’s epidemiologist.
The statewide rolling 7-day average for positive tests is 857 per day, up from 522 per day last week. The number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 has also increased from 115 last week to 161.