Gov., counties at odds over COVID-19 policies

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This story has been updated.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a Twitter post late Thursday that the state of Utah was not consulted on new orders issued by the Salt Lake and Utah County Health Departments to prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people.

Salt Lake officials issued a public health order Thursday to ban gatherings of more than 10 people, effective for 30 days. The order was issued by Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director Gary Edwards.

The order stated that initial violations of the rule would result in a Class B misdemeanor, while subsequent violations would be punishable as Class A misdemeanors.

The Utah County Health Department also issued a public health order Thursday to prohibit gatherings of more than 10 individuals with the exception of grocery stores. The order did not specify if violations would result in a misdemeanor.

Gov. Herbert said in a Twitter post Friday afternoon that the state of Utah “strongly recommends that people avoid large group gatherings … but does not intend to threaten residents with criminal prosecution.” He added that an amended order will be sent out soon.

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