Gary Herbert

 Governor Gary Herbert said Utah’s doing very well in comparison to other states, during a press conference Thursday. He said Utah’s average caseload is around 400 new cases daily, but he wants to get that average below 400. 


Herbert said Utah’s hospitalization rates are in “good shape.” About 50 percent of hospital beds are available to those in need. But he said they’re ready for anything. 


Pool Photos Daily COVID Briefing

Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order on Wednesday requiring masks at all state-run facilities while resisting calls for a statewide mask order.

Expressing concern about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Utah, Herbert said most of the state will remain at the yellow - or low risk - level for at least another two weeks and masks must be worn at all state buildings. 


Kristin Murphy Deseret News, pool photo

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced public and charter schools will be closed through the end of the school year.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears a blue mask as he stands by during a press briefing on COVID-19 earlier this year.
Pool photo

As we head into a holiday weekend and spring break for some, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced a new order related to travel into the state. 


Last week, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order freezing evictions until May 15. The governor expects tenants to have a bit more money in their pockets by then, due to unemployment benefits and funding from the federal CARES Act. But some renters don’t qualify for those benefits.

Members of Utah’s COVID-19 economic task force clarified Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s executive order on rent and evictions. 

Utah Apartment Association Executive Director Paul Smith says Herbert’s executive order doesn’t absolve tenants of their rent payments.

“Some people have been reporting that renters no longer have to pay rent,” Smith said. “That is not true. Some people have been reporting that renters are going to be forgiven or excused of rent. That is not true.”

Utah Governor's Office

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Wednesday afternoon a moratorium on evictions for the next month, to help residential tenants who can’t pay rent due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

It’s the first of the month. For nearly one in three Utah households, rent is due.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported nearly 20,000 new claims for unemployment benefits from March 15 to March 21. The industry that saw the highest number of claims was food preparation and serving, with 37% of the claims.

The Utah Department of Health reported more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday and seven related deaths. 

State epidemiologist Angela Dunn says Utah’s growth in COVID-19 cases does not appear to be exponential and over the past couple days has even flattened a bit. But looking at the past two weeks, Dunn says that doesn’t mean Utah is in the clear.


State leaders are treating Utah’s COVID-19 outbreak as an emergency. 

The state has convened a unified command to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Each day, representatives from the Utah Department of Health, Emergency Management, the Utah National Guard and other state agencies, as well as a representative from FEMA, coordinate their response efforts at the Emergency Operations Center in the state capitol. Their objective is to address impacts to health and the economy as well as communicate plans to the public.


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addressed Utahns on Monday, after announcing his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive Friday afternoon. The update included two additional state programs to help residents and business owners weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

State political and economic leaders this week announced a plan to set the economy on a path for recovery as residents, business owners and employees weather the impacts of COVID-19. 

The plan is called Utah Leads Together. It’s an economic plan that also had input from health officials. Utah Gov. Gary Herbetrt says this is a uniquely challenging time.


Anna Lehnardt, a spokesperson from Gov. Gary Herbert’s office, says the governor was notified Wednesday afternoon of Summit County’s decision to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“Given the infection rate in that area of the state, we understand and support their decision to issue this order at this time,” Lenhardt said.

A heat map showing shaking intensity from the 5.7 magnitude earthquake. The red and yellow areas are most intense, while blue is less intense
Utah Division of Emergency Management

Utahns awoke to shaking and rumbling just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the state. The largest quake the state has seen since 1992 didn't much impact the Wasatch Back, but the scene on the Wasatch Front was different.

The epicenter is near Magna, about 20 minutes west of Salt Lake City, but the effects were felt as far north as Idaho and Wyoming and down south to Millard County. Wasatch Back residents in Summit and Wasatch Counties reported shaking from the initial quake as well as from subsequent aftershocks.

After preliminary counts showed the Utah tax reform referendum would be put to voters on the November ballot, the governor and state legislative leaders announced Thursday morning the tax bill will be fully repealed. 

State leaders announced in a press release Thursday that Senate Bill 2001, the tax bill the legislature passed in a December special session, will be fully repealed and ready for the governor’s signature by the end of next week.

A white man in a dark suit stands on stage at a podium
KPCW Radio

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addressed what he believes are myths about the recent tax reform at the Utah Taxpayers Association legislative preview Tuesday. 

The Utah Legislature passed a new tax law in a special session in December. The legislation cut the income tax rate; added income tax credits; and raised or added sales tax to groceries, gas and some services. The policy change results in a net tax cut of $160 million.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill into law shortly after. On Tuesday, he praised legislators’ initiative on tax reform.