Moab Regional Hospital and the Southeast Utah Health Department are urging community members to be tested for COVID-19 even if they only have mild symptoms. [Photo by Maggie McGuire / Moab Sun News]

As of Oct. 22, Grand County is reporting “high” transmission levels of COVID-19 according to the Utah Department of Health along with 20 other Utah counties as the statewide spike in coronavirus cases continues. The county was previously considered “moderate.”

To be moved to a new category under the state’s recently implemented COVID-19 Transmission Index, a county must fall within the thresholds of that category for two or three of the following metrics: the seven-day average percent of positive tests, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people, and the statewide utilization of intensive care units.

In the “high” risk level, two or three of the following must be true: the seven-day average percent of positive tests is at or above 13%, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people is at or above 325, and/or the total statewide utilization of ICUs is at or above 72%, and the utilization of ICUs statewide specifically for COVID cases is at or above 15%.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, Grand County’s seven-day average percent positive test rate was 12% and the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people was 368. ICU utilization statewide was at 72.2%, and ICU use specifically for COVID was at 18.2%. Grand County meets the criteria for the high transmission level by meeting the parameters for the last two metrics.

The new statewide system was introduced on Oct. 13, replacing the state’s earlier color-coded risk-level system. Once a county is designated at a certain transmission level, it cannot drop back down to a less severe level for the next two weeks. The three indicators are examined each week, and levels are updated on Thursdays.

Under the high transmission level, casual social gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer; masks are required in public indoor settings, or outdoors when physical distancing is not possible; and six feet of distance must be maintained between patrons from different households in bars, restaurants, and other businesses. Frequent hand washing and staying home when sick are recommended at all transmission levels.

For more details on the transmission levels and the related regulations, visit