The most recent COVID-19 mandates and what they mean for students

The Utah System of Higher Education released its testing plan.

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Amid recent surges in COVID-19 cases, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced 4 mandates to help combat the spread of the virus. This announcement came during the governor’s desperate plea to citizens via a video message on Nov. 8. 

“We must do more and we must do it now,” Herbert said urging citizens to remain “vigilant” and do “everything in your power to stop the spread of the disease.” 

Among the most recent mandates are mask requirements for public settings and a significant expansion of Utah’s COVID-19 testing. In addition, over the next two weeks, the governor has also called for a ban on social events that influence the gathering of people who do not live in the same home as well as the suspension of all highschool and club sporting events. 

Herbert noted the exemption of both championship games and intercollegiate sports from this mandate. 

Under these conditions, businesses are required to have their employees wear masks and encourage patrons to do the same. All of those who do not comply with these orders will be subject to fines. As such, masks will continue to be required for both students and faculty while on campus. 

Additionally, the university will require students who have at least one face to face class to be tested for COVID-19 weekly. Testing will be offered for free on-campus but students can also utilize local testing sites should they choose. 

The semester is scheduled to proceed in accordance with the newly announced mandates. Moving forward, students should be prepared for weekly COVID-19 testing should they have in-person classes, and continue to adhere to local health and safety guidelines both on and off-campus. Self-reporting is still the best resource for students should they become infected or exposed to COVID-19. 

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