Saturday, July 4, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

79 F
Moab
More

    Herbert: ‘Common sense requires’ staying in yellow risk phase

    Decision aligns with advice from state epidemiologist, against state commission

    Featured Stories

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.

    Leaving Guatemala Part 2: There wasn’t enough time to say goodbye

    To say I woke up on the Monday morning of the evacuation...

    Ignoring own standards and experts, Utah commission pushes reopening

    The COVID-19 model from the CDC predicts an increase in deaths from the coronavirus from Utah in the coming weeks, and key indicators predict more hospitalizations are to come.
    Carter Pape
    Carter Papehttp://moabtimes.awebstudio.com/author/carter-pape/
    Reporter Carter Pape covers news out of the Grand County Council Chambers, including housing, tourism, crime, and more.

    After members of a Utah commission voted unanimously June 2 to forward a recommendation to Gov. Gary Herbert that the state move to the lowest risk phase in the state’s COVID-19 response guidelines, Herbert overruled the recommendation, instead extending the state’s current guidelines another week, through June 12.

    A graph showing the number of COVID-19 cases in southeast Utah
    The Southeast Utah Department of Health has reported 12 cases of COVID-19 in Grand County as of June 10. All individuals have recovered. Graphic by Carter Pape

    “Common sense requires keeping our current health risk guidance in place,” Herbert said Friday, June 5 in response to the commission’s recommendation. “We all want to return to more normal patterns of life as soon as possible, but we also do not want to take a step back in our progress against this disease and our reactivation of the economy. A marked increase in disease incidence and in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 give us pause. We will continue to analyze data trends with an eye toward balancing overall health risks and protecting high-risk populations.”

    Under the current yellow risk phase that encompasses the state — save for Salt Lake City, Mexican Hat and Bluff, which are still in the orange risk phase — no economic activities are “categorically” prohibited, according to Herbert.

    In Moab, being in the yellow risk phase has meant a lifting of restrictions on lodging businesses, against the advice of the local health department and the Grand County Council. Local officials who had pushed for Moab to be at a higher risk phase applauded Herbert’s decision Friday, June 5.

    “[The Southeast Utah Health Department] applauds this decision as it allows us more time to evaluate the situation in each of our three counties after the general relaxing of restrictions throughout the state,” said Brady Bradford, director of the health department, after Herbert announced his decision. “SEUHD also endorses the concept of addressing the risk levels of counties or cities in place of a broad statewide assignment of restriction or risk levels.”

    Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan also applauded the decision, with a reminder that the governor had recently declined the county’s efforts to remain at the higher, orange risk phase.

    “Of course, the Grand County Council already decided that a modified orange risk level, per our Public Health Order dated May 28, 2020, effective May 29 through June 25, 2020, is the safest risk level for our community now — not yellow,” Sloan said. “However, the governor rejected that order in its entirety. Thus, Grand County appreciates the governor keeping the state at yellow for now.”

    Herbert said in his Friday statement that he “strongly” urges Utahns to use face coverings alongside practicing social distancing and good hygiene.

    “I know that wearing masks looks and feels different, but it is an easy, low-cost practice that will help us return to normal,” Herbert said. “I believe that wearing masks has helped to reduce the asymptomatic spread of the virus among state officials even as we have been working long hours together in close quarters.”

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    GOP’s Cox, Reyes move on to General Election

    If the figures hold, Cox will face off against University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson, a Democrat, and Libertarian Daniel Cottam, a surgeon, in November’s general election.

    Man pleads guilty to double manslaughter

    He faces up to 15 years apiece for the deaths of Vilsar Camey, 45, and Camey’s 10-year-old son, Israel on Feb. 9.

    Eklecticafe was cramped but quaint. Then the virus hit

    “It’s so sad to say that, even though there’s a relief for me, but the COVID thing… I just couldn’t sustainably reopen."

    500K facemasks headed to Utah students, teachers

    The state procured the masks from H.M. Cole and Totopazi and will be distributed to school districts in the “greatest need."

    After three years and a tripled budget, Seekhaven has new director

    My main goal is to stabilize our current programming and fortify our working relationships with the first responders in our community.