The Utah Department of Health and Governor Gary Herbert announced new COVID-19 guidelines on Oct. 14 after a daily average of 1,204 new infections per day last week. The guidelines took effect Oct. 17.
As of Oct. 14, the average infection rate was 13.9 percent. The CDC flagged Utah as a hotspot due to the sharp increase in cases.
The new COVID-19 guidelines will replace the old color-coded system of red, orange, yellow and green with a level of transmission index.
In the new index, counties can only have three levels: high, moderate and low. Each level is correlated directly to case rates, positivity rates and ICU utilization. Index levels will be updated weekly.
For a county to move to a lower index, the county will need to show reduced case numbers over a 14-day average.
Weber County is currently indexed as high, meaning masks are mandated and only gatherings of 10 or fewer people are permitted until Oct. 29.
If a county moves to moderate transmission rate, 25 people can gather without masks, and more people can be included if masks are worn.
Weber State University will continue to offer the same flexibility for classes in spring semester 2021 while focusing on increasing face-to-face instruction where possible.
Labs, clinics, simulations, experiential courses, upper-division courses with hands-on components and some general education courses will be the first to return to face-to-face instruction.
On Oct. 19, the spring 2021 course schedule was released; registration opens open on Nov. 9 for students. The university is still following its safety precautions set for the fall semester and students can plan on it staying the same throughout the spring semester.
Under the high index, all businesses will remain open with social distancing measures in place. Restaurants and bars will remain open with six-feet of distance required between households, or parties, in seating and waiting areas.
Restaurants are still required to offer alternative options to dine-in. Bars will remain open with six-feet of distance between parties and masks encouraged when intermingling between parties.
Public events such as live events, movie theaters, sporting events, weddings and other recreational activities are permitted under all index levels. Under the high index level, the requirements for those events in a high-transmission level is that there are six-foot distance between households.