New Requirements on Employers After Utah Declares State of Emergency Due to COVID-19

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Utah residents were advised Sunday night of a state of emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to a significant spike in cases and attendant strain on Utah hospital facilities and health care providers, Governor Gary Herbert issued Executive Order 2020-73 (the “Executive Order”), imposing new restrictions to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Effective November 9, Utah is under a mask mandate requiring all individuals (with some exceptions) to wear a mask when indoors in public, or when outdoors and within six feet of another person. Utah employers are required to ensure that all employees and patrons wear a mask and maintain social distance of six feet between members of different households. The Executive Order also requires business signage advising employees and customers of the mask mandate and physical distancing requirements, among other information.

The Executive Order has certain exceptions for face coverings. For example, an employee or customer who is the sole occupant of a “room, cubicle, or similar enclosure” is not required to wear a face mask. There are also exceptions for eating, drinking, or when obtaining or providing services that require the temporary removal of a mask, like dental services or confirming identity at a bank. There are also exceptions related to health and safety and other limited circumstances. Some exceptions are relevant in the context of providing disability related accommodations to employees or customers, such as communicating with a deaf person, or when an individual has a medical or mental health condition that prevents him or her from wearing a mask. In addition to the mask mandate, the Executive Order also contains restrictions regarding social gatherings and extra-curricular school activities.

You can find a flyer about the Executive Order here, and a FAQ about the Executive Order provided by the state of Utah here

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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