The Utah Department of Health confirmed to KPCW on Friday that Summit County is expected to be designated as one of the state’s “high” COVID-19 transmission areas next week. The change comes as Utah’s current spike in cases continues.
Governor Gary Herbert announced the state’s new COVID-19 categories earlier this week with high, moderate, and low taking the place of the red, orange, yellow, and green classifications in place since the start of the pandemic in March.
According to the Utah Department of Health, the new guidelines are data-driven with each county’s classification determined by the 7-day average of positive tests and 14-day average of cases in a particular county, as well as the number of ICU beds in use statewide.
Summit County was originally considered to be at a moderate level before the health department announced that Friday’s data pushed the country to high. Wasatch County is also considered to be a high transmission area.
Governor Herbert called the state’s recent spike in cases “unsustainable” and urged Utahns to follow all public health guidelines.
Under a high classification, masks are required and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited until the county moves to a lower transmission level. Summit County has had a mask order in place since June and has already extended that order through the end of 2020.
Along with Summit County, the health department tells KPCW several other counties in the state are expected to change status and become high transmission areas. Davis, Washington, Carbon, and San Juan County are expected to become high transmission areas as well, bringing the total number of Utah counties in high to 11.
Summit County is waiting for the formal evaluation that takes place on Monday before confirming the county's move to high. An official announcement is expected mid next week.
More information on the new Utah health guidance levels can be found here.