(Reuters) – The governor of the U.S. state of Utah, Gary Herbert, declared late on Sunday a new state of emergency to address hospital overcrowding in response to weeks of stress on its hospital networks due to a surge of novel coronavirus cases.
“Due to the alarming rate of COVID infections within our state, tonight I issued a new state of emergency with several critical changes to our response”, Herbert said on Twitter.
“These changes are not shutting down our economy, but are absolutely necessary to save lives and hospital capacity,” he said.
The governor said the entire state was being placed under a mask mandate until further notice and casual social gatherings were being limited to household-only for the next two weeks.
All extracurricular activities were being put on hold, he said.
The total number of coronavirus infections in the United States rose past 10 million late on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
Utah has had 132,621 total confirmed cases and 659 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel)