SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Erin Mendenhall intends to ask that the COVID-19 risk level be lowered as soon as next week, FOX 13 is told.
Currently, Salt Lake City is the only spot in the state that is at an "orange" or moderate risk level for COVID-19. The rest of the state is at a "yellow" or low risk, with Kane County moving to "green" -- the lowest risk level for the virus.
"We are really encouraged by the local data we received this week and it appears that we are finally seeing the stabilization and down-trend we’ve been looking for. We are optimistic we’ll get approval to move to yellow at the expiration of this next state order," Mayor Mendenhall's office told FOX 13 in a statement late Thursday.
Data from the Salt Lake County Health Department does appear to show a plateau of cases for Salt Lake City specifically:
By moving to a "yellow" level, it would reduce some of the restrictions in place in Salt Lake City. People could gather in groups of up to 50 and more facilities could begin to re-open. Social distancing, face coverings and strict hygiene and sanitization standards would remain in place.
On Thursday, Mayor Mendenhall issued a proclamation that allows restaurants and retailers the ability to operate outside on city-owned property in order to allow social distancing while they do business. For example, a store could use a parking spot or a spot of grass for socially-distant customer seating. A restaurant could have outdoor dining.
Businesses must get a permit for it from the city.
Governor Gary Herbert announced on Thursday that most of the state would remain on yellow for now as COVID-19 cases have been increasing statewide. However, he said it is possible that as soon as next week more rural areas of the state could move to a "green" risk level, as they have not seen the same level of COVID cases as urban areas.