The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today announced two changes to the COVID-19 Transmission Index. The Transmission Index is the official health guidance for individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first changes is to the percent positivity threshold levels. Last week UDOH announced a change in the way they will calculate percent positivity to more closely align with the way most other states are calculating the percent of positive COVID-19 cases. Previously Utah had been using a “people over people” method. Beginning next Thursday, February 18, the 7-day average percent positivity metric used to determine levels of transmission will transition to the “test over test” percent positivity metric.
Because the “test over test” percent positivity skews lower than the previous “people over people” method, the range for percent positivity in the Transmission Index will shift lower. A 7-day average percent positivity of greater than 10% will belong to the “high” transmission category; a percent positivity between 5.1%-9.9% will belong to the “moderate” transmission category; and a percent positivity of 5% or less will belong to the “low” transmission category.
Additionally, changes will be made to the actions individuals and businesses should take in areas of “moderate” and “low” transmission. A transmission level (high, moderate, low) is determined if a county has two of the three metrics in the designated level of transmission.
Public gathering requirements in areas of “moderate” transmission will be changed.
- In these areas, public gatherings, such as live events, movie theaters, sporting events, weddings, recreation, and entertainment (does not apply to an individual attending or participating in a religious service), may occur with side-by-side seating as long as the event host completes the event template and all patrons are wearing masks, are assigned seating, and attest to not having any COVID-19 symptoms or exposures in the past 14 days.
- Concessions stands must be closed in “moderate” due to increased risk that occurs with more people in attendance and when masks are removed to eat or drink.
- Physical distancing between household groups is still strongly recommended at these venues.
In areas of “low” transmission, masks will be required and event templates must be completed by hosts, but no other restrictions are placed on these events.
For more information on the COVID-19 Transmission Index, including what businesses and individuals can do to help limit the spread of disease, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.