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Salt Lake County to meet Saturday for next steps on 'Stay Safe, Stay Home' directive

Posted at 10:40 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 00:44:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is set to meet with key county leaders Saturday to decide where to go next after Governor Gary Herbert issued his "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive Friday afternoon.

After Gov. Herbert's press briefing, Wilson announced county-specific changes including closing down the Salt Lake County government center.

She said the government itself will not close, but they will adjust operations and many employees will work from home.

Wilson indicated that the governor's directive might not be enough for Salt Lake County, which is why the county is meeting on Saturday to look at the directive line-by-line.

She imagined there would be overlap in what the county announces, but that they might take it a step further.

"I think he really does believe that if we emphasize certain things, it will impact change," she said, of the governor. "I have a sense that we probably need to do more."

While it's usually great for health departments to have local control, Wilson said-- which is what Gov. Herbert is allowing in his directive-- she said counties need to come together.

"I asked the Governor and state leaders to prioritize immediate negotiations with counties outside of Salt Lake County to develop a common framework – especially counties that have major hospitals," Wilson wrote, in a press release following the directive's announcement.

Wilson said she's meeting with Unified Command, the Salt Lake County Health Department and Salt Lake County Emergency Management.

They'll fine tune what they are offering to residents of Salt Lake County, she said.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Friday afternoon that the city is making Herbert's directive enforceable by the law.

When asked if law enforcement should be enforcing the "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive, Wilson said she thinks they are at the point where, "we do need a heavier hand."

"Time is of the essence, and this virus not giving us a lot of time," Wilson said. "Every action that we take is positive."