Governor declares state of emergency

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the evolving outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“Our number one focus is preparing for the arrival of novel coronavirus,” Gov. Herbert said. “Issuing this declaration now allows us to take additional proactive steps that will make a big difference in how effectively we can respond.”  

The governor emphasized that the executive order, which was announced only hours before the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Utah, is part of the state’s preparedness plan and comes at the unanimous recommendation of the Utah COVID-19 Task Force. The task force is led by Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox and includes public health officials and health representatives from the private sector, as well as business, education, and community leaders. 

“Issuing this order now allows our state and communities to access additional funding and resources that will be instrumental in helping us prepare to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Lt. Governor Cox.

In addition to recommending that Gov. Herbert declare a state of emergency, the task force discussed several other mitigation steps in their Friday morning meeting, including developing outreach plans to address vulnerable populations, identifying ways to increase capacity to test for COVID-19 and ensuring access to telehealth care for residents statewide. The state is also working together with partners in the private sector on a mass media public information campaign.

You can help stop the spread of novel coronavirus through simple prevention steps, including washing your hands thoroughly, disinfecting shared surfaces and covering your cough. If you have symptoms that match coronavirus, including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your clinician via telephone or telemedicine, and stay away from public spaces, except to seek medical care.

More information available at

Twitter: @UtahCoronavirus

Facebook: @UtahCoronavirus

Note: This post was initially published before the first case was confirmed in Utah. It has been updated to ensure information on this website does cause unneeded confusion. The original post, which duplicated a news release and is an official government record, can be found on the governor’s website.