Utah – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • Utah.gov coronavirus resource page.
  • January 29, 2020—The Utah Department of Health activated its Incident Command System to ensure effective communication and coordination among state agencies.
  • March 6, 2020—Governor Herbert declared a state of emergency, which is part of the state’s preparedness plan and came at the recommendation of the Governors COVID-19 Task Force. 
  • March 2, 2020—Utah established the COVID-19 Community Task Force. On 10 March, the task force recommended that hospital and health care systems establish satellite sites for testing.
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Herbert issued a statement praising the Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints’ decision to host sessions of its General Conference remotely and to limit mass gatherings in the immediate future. 
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Herbert, in partnership with the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, issued official recommendations to: limit gatherings of 100+ people (including church); not participate in group gatherings for individuals over 60 years of age or immunocompromised; and restrict access to long-term care facilities.  
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Herbert approved recommendations to the Utah Systems of Higher Education and the Utah State Board of Education to transition to online teaching.  
  • March 13, 2020—Governor Herbert announced recommendations the implementation of several precautionary measures across the state of Utah to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus. 
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor announced that Utah’s public schools will implement a two-week dismissal, or “soft closure,” starting Monday, March 16. The dismissal is designed to help implement social distancing and slow the spread of novel coronavirus in our communities.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Utah Department of Health ordered all restaurants and bars to close dining rooms, effective March 18.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor issued three executive orders, that will:
    • Lessen the burden on establishments with liquor licenses by facilitating returns of product to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control;
    • Allow the public to view Board of Pardons and Parole hearings remotely; and
    • Facilitate the ability of public bodies to conduct meetings electronically.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Utah Board of Education waived requirements regarding the calendar year, transportation, and assessments. The Board also directed staff to continue to distribute state funding to local education agencies.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Utah Department of Health amended a recent order, removing a potential criminal penalty association with gathering in groups of 10 or more.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor, State Superintendent, and Acting Commissioner of Technical Education announced that Utah’s K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through May 1, 2020.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Utah Department of Health announced restrictions on non-urgent medical, dental, and veterinary procedures.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor released “Utah Leads Together,” a comprehensive task force plan, report and economic playbook to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19, including recommendations from dozens of Utah state and industry leaders.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order suspending sections of the state statute to ease the provision of telehealth care to patients.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order suspending certain requirements on signature gathering for candidates seeking to get on the ballot.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Directive to provide further guidance to individuals and businesses regarding hygiene, gatherings, travel, and outdoor recreation.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Child Care Task Force created One Utah Child Care to meet child care needs of essential employees such as healthcare workers.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program to assist small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Utah State Tax Commissioners approved extensions to tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor lifted restrictions that prevented retirees from public jobs reenter the workforce. This will allow certain public employees return to jobs that are deemed critical to the coronavirus response like first responders, healthcare and public health workers and those in financial services.  
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order allowing state and local entities participating in the state Retirement Systems to extend work opportunities to recently retired persons to meet needs for critical government functions.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order suspending sections of the state statute to allow the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to tap into the Industrial Assistant Account to offer zero interest loans to small businesses.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, extending the closure of dine-in service at food establishments until April 15.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order instituting a moratorium on residential evictions for tenants directly impacts by COVID-19.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan program uses $11 million in state funds to provide gap funding to Utah’s small business and nonprofits. Round one of the program was for Utah-headquartered for-profits. More than 1,000 businesses completed the application process and 500 applicants will receive a total of more than $6 million in funding, with 27% of the round one funds being awarded to rural businesses. During round two (up to April 16), loan applications will be accepted from for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
  • April 9, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order requiring individuals entering Utah to complete a travel declaration form.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Governor extended the Stay Safe Stay Home directive until May 1.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Utah’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Utah to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, extend fair hearing timelines, and waive public comment and tribal consultation requirements for certain changes to the Medicaid state plan.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor and State Superintendent announced an extension on the “soft closure” of public schools until the end of the school year.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Department of Workforce Services announced the Child Care Operations Grant, available to Utah childcare providers whose operations have been affected by decreased enrollment.
  • April 15, 2020 – The state launched its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, available to those who were previously ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits.
  • April 17, 2020 – ProjectProtect announced that it is seeking 10,000 volunteers to help produce five-million medical-grade face masks for frontline health care workers. The project is a collaboration between Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Latter-day Saint Charities and several non-profits.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced beta testing for the Healthy Together mobile app to augment contact tracing efforts and slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor directed the Utah Department of Health to update its public health order, allowing for the resumption of some elective procedures pursuant to established guidelines. 
  • April 23, 2020 – The Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force announced the creation of a new subcommittee to address language and cultural barriers to providing vulnerable and underserved communities important news and information.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Utah Department of Workforce Services will issue additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits up to the maximum allotment for the months of April and May.
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced the recipients of $12 million in loan applications through the Utah Leads Together Small Business Bridge Loan.
  • April 25, 2020 – The Governor announced the state’s Utah Moves Together 2.0 plan, to move the state from a high-risk phase to a moderate phase.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor and Lt. Governor announced “A Mask for Every Utahn,” a public private partnership through the Utah Manufacturers Association and Cotopaxi, to provide all Utahns with a free face mask.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, placing the state of Utah under “moderate risk” protocols beginning May 1. The order stipulates that individuals in high-risk categories should continue to follow “high-risk” protocols.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order suspending, through May 15, enforcement of statutes for some expiring vehicle registrations. The order will grant time leniency to Utahns given closures and appointment-only registration systems at the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor Office issued a statement regarding its internal review of a March 31 purchase of compounded chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from the Utah compounding pharmacy Meds in Motion.
  • May 4, 2020 – The Governor announced that iFit Interactive Fitness, headquartered in Utah, donated one million medical-grade surgical masks to the state.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor signed an Executive Order, clarifying guidelines in the moderate- and low-risk phases of the Utah Leads Together reopening plan.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced the COVID-19 Commercial Rental Assistance Program to provide relief to Utah small businesses that rent commercial property.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor suspended certain statutes to ease the regulatory burden of sudden closures mandated by public health.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor issued an Executive Order, moving much of the state to a Low Health Risk Status effective on May 16. The order clarifies that Grand County, Summit County and Wasatch County will remain at an Orange Health Risk.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor released a third version of the “Utah Leads Together” plan, with guidelines to protect high-risk individuals and address impacts to Utah’s multi-cultural communities.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order moving Summit and Wasatch Counties to Low Health Risk status.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor, in consultation with the Utah Department of Health, issued an executive order, moving Summit and Wasatch Counties to Yellow, or Low Health Risk Status.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor, in consultation with the Utah Department of Health, approved requests for the municipalities of Bluff and Mexican Hat to transition to Orange, or Moderate Health Risk.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, updating guidelines for areas under a low health risk designation. The order specifically addresses social gatherings, education, businesses, travel, and events.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor, in consultation with the Utah Department of Health and Local Health Departments, issued an executive order, moving Grand County, West Valley City, and Magna to Low Health Risk Status.
  • June 1, 2020 – The Utah Department of Health announced COVID-19 Uninsured Testing Coverage for eligible residents.
  • June 5, 2020 – The Governor extended the current health risk status, issued on May 29. The public health risk will remain at Orange in Salt Lake City, Bluff and Mexican Hat, and Yellow in all other areas.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor, in consultation with local health authorities and the Utah Department of Health, issued an executive order moving Kane County to the “New Normal” Health Risk Status, and moving Bluff and Mexican Hat to the Low Health Risk Status.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor and other state leaders encouraged the public to continue to wear face masks, where social distancing cannot be followed.
  • June 16, 2020 – The Governor issued a proclamation, calling the Utah Legislature into a Fifth Special Session, to address the following topics, among others:
    • Budgetary changes to the FY20 and FY21 budgets;
    • Data privacy provisions related to the state’s COVID-19 response; and
    • Providing rent and mortgage assistance to individuals and small businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • June 19, 2020 – The Governor approved requests from nine counties to transition to Green, or “New Normal” Health Risk Status. The approved counties are Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Piute, Uintah, and Wayne.
  • June 24, 2020 – The Utah Department of Health issued guidance for poll workers to create a safe and health experience for voters at the primary election on June 30, and in November.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Multicultural Subcommittee of the Utah Coronavirus Task Force has created the Racial Equity and Inclusion Fund, providing grants to community-based organizations for the purpose of addressing COVID-19 disparities and supporting disproportionately impacted communities. 
  • July 10, 2020 – The Governor extended an executive order that mandates face coverings  be worn in all state facilities. The Governor also extended Utah’s Health Risk Status, leaving Salt Lake City in Moderate Risk, ten counties in Normal Risk, and the rest of the state in Low Risk. 
  • July 16, 2020 – The Utah Strong Recovery Project, funded by a FEMA grant facilitated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, announced the provision of statewide emotional support services, including crisis counseling, mental health education, and coping strategies to address emotional stress resulting from the pandemic.
  • July 20, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order adopting version 4.8 of the Phased Guidelines. The updated guidelines will allow, but not require, schools in the Orange Phase to open and provide some level of in-person instruction. The order will remain in effect until August 7.
  • July 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, adopting version 4.9 of the Phased Guidelines, providing guidance for restaurants operating 24 hours per day and restaurants with buffet service.