Utah County officials pass mask mandate after COVID-19 spike

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Residents frequent businesses in downtown Provo. The Utah County Health Department and county commissioners passed a mask mandate on Sept. 22 after COVID-19 cases spiked in the county. (Preston Crawley)

The Utah County Health Department and county commissioners issued a public health order mandating masks Tuesday night after cases in the county spiked.

The order went into effect immediately and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 20, unless extended. The order applies to anyone in the county in an indoor or outdoor public area where consistent social distancing isn’t possible. It also allows for multiple exemptions including individuals under 5 years old, those with medical conditions and people eating or drinking.

Earlier in the day, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert moved Provo and Orem from yellow, low-risk COVID-19 guidelines to orange, moderate-risk.

“If the recent trajectory of cases were to continue, our healthcare system’s capacity could be at risk and the entire county may be put back into the orange level restrictions,” reads a statement from Utah County Health Director Ralph Clegg and county commissioners Tanner Ainge and Nathan Ivie.

“If we can curb this most recent spike and quickly move all of Utah County back to the yellow phase, it may save lives and jobs in our community.”

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