Nov. 9 (UPI) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency late Sunday to institute various measures, together with a statewide masks mandate, to stop the overcrowding of hospitals amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The state’s Republican governor made the emergency declaration through a video posted to social media as hospitalizations and new coronavirus instances surge within the state.

“Because of the alarming price of COVID infections inside our state, tonight I issued a brand new state of emergency with a number of important modifications to our response,” he stated. “These modifications aren’t shutting down our financial system, however are completely obligatory to avoid wasting lives and hospital capability.”

The masks mandate requires all residents to put on a masks whereas in public and in non-public when inside six ft of an individual they do not dwell with. Companies are additionally mandated to implement the rule for workers and clients with these failing to take action subjected to fines, he stated.

Herbert additionally banned social gatherings with these outdoors one’s family and suspended all youth and highschool extracurricular actions.

He additionally mandated for college kids enrolled in private and non-private establishments of upper schooling who dwell on campus or attend at the least one in-person class to be examined for COVID-19 at the least as soon as every week.

The restrictions go into impact Monday at 1p.m., however whereas the ban on gatherings and extracurricular actions expires with the state of emergency on Nov. 23, the masks mandate and the testing of school and college college students will proceed for the foreseeable future.

The wonderful for organizers of public gatherings could possibly be as steep as $10,000 per occasion, he stated.

The order got here because the state combats skyrocketing infections and hospitalizations.

In keeping with authorities statistics, the state has set data for many instances reported in a 24-hour interval in three of the final 4 days whereas experiencing an upward development in instances and hospitalizations since early September.

On Sunday, state well being officers reported 2,355 new instances up to now 24 hours, lifting its complete tally of infections amid the pandemic to 132,621 whereas hospitalizations proceed to climb by a number of dozen sufferers a day. Its demise toll is at 659 lives misplaced.

Herbert stated {that a} full financial shutdown is neither obligatory nor warranted to cease this escalating development.

“Utah is open for enterprise,” he stated. “You possibly can nonetheless store, dine in or perform, train, worship and recreate, and plenty of different issues. We’re simply saying, keep inside your family group each time attainable, significantly for the following two weeks.”

Salt Lake Metropolis Mayor Erin Mendenhall, who has repeatedly known as for statewide restrictions to be put in place, thanked the governor for his “overdue” declaration.

“Let’s all make these cheap sacrifices to cut back our COVID surge, shield our family and friends and assist our healthcare employees,” she tweeted. “We will do that collectively.”

The order comes amid surging infections all through the USA, which has reported file each day infections on the previous three days, hitting a excessive of greater than 128,400 infections up to now 24 hours, in response to a dwell tracker of the virus by Johns Hopkins College.