Utah State Athletics ‘Encouraged’ By State’s Move To Yellow Risk Level In Relation To Coronavirus

May 14, 2020, 3:23 PM | Updated: 3:24 pm
John Hartwell - Utah State Athletics...
Utah State athletic director John Hartwell speaks at the press conference announcing the hiring of Aggie head football coach Gary Andersen on Dec. 11, 2018, in Logan. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

LOGAN, Utah – USU vice president and director of athletics John Hartwell said that Utah State Athletics is “encouraged by today’s announcement about moving to the yellow or low risk level in the state of Utah as it relates to the coronavirus.”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced on Thursday, May 14, that the state of Utah was moving from an orange to a yellow phase of reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shortly after the Governor’s announcement, Hartwell responded how the move would impact the Aggies in the short-term.

“We are encouraged by today’s announcement about moving to the yellow or low risk level in the state of Utah as it relates to the coronavirus. Utah State Athletics, in concurrence with the University, will continue to examine our policies and procedures for a safe return for our student-athletes,” Hartwell said in the statement. “Although our athletic facilities will remain closed through the end of May, today’s announcement does move us closer to resuming our normal routines, which includes all of our student-athletes preparing for competition this fall.”

Although USU Athletics is “encouraged” by Utah’s decision, the Aggies will continue to have their athletic facilities closed through the month of May.

Utah State Athletics has been impacted across all of its sports and teams since March. Some of the teams affected include the Aggies’ men’s basketball and football teams. The Aggies’ men’s basketball team earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament prior to its cancellation. USU’s football team was unable to complete its annual spring football practices due to the pandemic.

Questions around future start dates and resumption of NCAA games including those by the Aggies have yet to receive definitive answers.

Utah’s Yellow, Low-Risk Phase

The yellow phase allows Utahns to resume team sports according to Gen. Jefferson Burton of the Utah Department of Health. However, participants will have to be screened for symptoms as they return. Additionally, with proper social distancing, swimming pools can reopen. The limit on social gathers will grow to 50 people.

Despite raising the limit on people at public gatherings to 50, the state requested that Utahns follow certain guidelines.

Individuals were asked to maintain six feet of social distancing when outside of the home. Additionally, the state recommended wearing masks when in public. Members of the state were asked to limit out-of-state travel.

The state warned that in every phase, high-risk individuals operate under stricter instructions because they are more vulnerable to the virus.

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Utah State Athletics ‘Encouraged’ By State’s Move To Yellow Risk Level In Relation To Coronavirus