Dear Friends and Neighbors,
During the 2020 October Interim week, we covered various topics and potential legislation that might be heard during the general session. These issues include emergency powers, matters pertaining to consumer privacy, affordable housing and much more.
As chair of the Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Interim Committee, I received draft legislation on a mechanism for interim rate as a part of the energy balancing account process as well as other updates relevant to rural Utah. Listen to the full committee presentation here.
Lastly, the Senate reviews and approves the governor's nominations for vacant public positions, including judges. We voted to confirm the appointment of Attorney Spencer David Walsh to the First District Court during advice and consent on October 21. You can read Governor Herbert's statement here and watch the full presentation during Senate floor time here. Learn more about Mr. Spencer David Walsh during the Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee here.
The Utah Department of Health released recommendations and tips on how to keep Utahns safe from COVID-19 while participating in Halloween festivities. Read the recommendations here.
The Utah Department of Health had developed a plan to prioritize who will get an eventual vaccine for COVID-19. Read the plan here.
The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles is no longer sending postcard notifications for vehicle registration renewals. Sign up for email notifications here.
Here is more information on the transmission index metrics for each of the phases:
Under the new transmission index, individuals and businesses will need to follow specific guidelines for each level of transmission.
Casual social gatherings
Casual social gatherings include family dinner, get-togethers, book club, etc. It does not include formal religious services or events with organizational oversight. All other gatherings are limited to the following sizes:
● High Transmission Areas: 10 or fewer.
● Moderate Transmission Areas:
10 or fewer until October 29.
25 or fewer after October 29, the size may exceed 25 if individuals wear a mask.
● Low Transmission Areas: 50 or fewer, unless masks are worn.
High Transmission Areas: Required.
Moderate Transmission Areas: Required by public health directive.
Low Transmission Areas: Strongly recommended. At this level, a mask requirement is at the discretion of county executives in consultation with the local health officer.
Masks are required, excluding performers, at any establishment that allows public gatherings, such as live events, movie theatres, sporting events, weddings, recreation and entertainment. Read more here.
Mask requirements already in place will remain, including county mask requirements, in K-12 schools and state-owned buildings.
Require 6 feet of distance between household groups, unless masks are worn.
Post signage listing COVID-19 symptoms, asking employees and customers with symptoms to stay home and encourage physical distancing.
Offer alternative pickup options when possible, such as curbside pickups, delivery and takeout.
Install plexiglass barriers between staff and customers when 6 feet distancing is difficult.
Clean and disinfect restrooms at least twice daily.
Taking the Stay Safe to Stay Open Pledge is strongly encouraged.
The image below shows each county in its current level of transmission.
The full details of the COVID-19 Transmission Index, frequently asked questions, information regarding businesses and schools and more are online here.
The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through October 22.
Senator Ron Winterton
Senate District 26