What Utah’s State of Emergency Means for SUU

Published: November 09, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Category: Administration

On November 9, a campus-wide email was sent to Southern Utah University's campus community about the new executive order issued by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. 

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Last night, Governor Gary Herbert shared a message with the state of Utah declaring a state of emergency. He issued an executive order requiring everyone to make some personal sacrifices for the next two weeks in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The number of cases in the state has spiked in recent weeks, especially among 18-35 year olds, and Utah’s health care system has reached a critical level of capacity. We all have a responsibility to help get this virus under control. The specific changes announced by the Governor are in effect until Monday, November 23 and include:

  1. A state-wide mask mandate
  2. Social gatherings restricted to members of the same household
  3. Cancellation/postponement of in-person extracurricular activities (virtual events are still allowed)
  4. Expanded testing operations, including weekly testing for university students, both symptomatic and asymptomatic

Even with these short-term changes, Southern Utah University remains open with some minor disruptions, specifically the cancellation of extracurricular in-person events and activities. All activities that are related to classroom instruction will continue as originally planned providing all guidelines can be followed. SUU will offer a variety of virtual events for students to have fun and connect with others.

The Governor’s order requires the wearing of a mask in all inside locations and all outside locations if within six feet of another person not in your household. Household refers to anyone who lives together in the same home/apartment. During this state of emergency, you should limit your social gatherings to only those you live with.

Governor Herbert’s executive order also requires weekly COVID-19 testing of any student taking at least one face-to-face class. This does not apply to students who are 100% online or concurrent enrollment students. The Governor’s executive order regarding weekly testing does not apply to faculty or staff, but all on campus are encouraged to take the test. SUU has not received the tests and a start date for this weekly process has not yet been determined. We will provide additional details as soon as we learn more from the state.

As you can imagine, this will be a logistical challenge which will require full cooperation from our campus community. Anyone who has personal concerns about the mask, testing, or other mandates in the Governor’s order may email the Assistant to the President, Bailey Bowthorpe, at baileybowthorpe@suu.edu

We live in interesting times. Not only is SUU required to comply with the Governor’s executive order but all of us have a civic responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s not up to the SUU administration to police each individual but as Governor Herbert stated, we encourage you all to be good citizens. Doing so will help ensure our campus remains open when you return for the spring semester.

Thank you for your support,

Jon Anderson, Provost
Trisha Robertson, Staff Association President
Bill Heyborne, Faculty Senate President
Nouman Kante, Student Body President


SUU continues to follow guidance from local and state public health officials and the CDC to keep campus safe and healthy. For more information about SUU’s response to COVID-19 visit suu.edu/coronavirus/.


Tags: Coronavirus

Contact Information:

David Bishop
435-586-5400
davidbishop@suu.edu