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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Utah's new coronavirus restrictions — including a statewide mask mandate — are receiving mixed reviews from the state legislature, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Utah implemented the new restrictions in light of a swelling caseload and the threat of hospitals becoming overwhelmed, and may provide an example of what's to come in red states across the U.S.

  • Many of the states currently being hit hardest by the virus have resisted heavy-handed mitigation measures so far.

Driving the news: Republican Gov. Gary Herbert announced the new restrictions on Sunday evening, although they're much more flexible than those in hard-hit states this spring.

  • Shutting down schools and closing some businesses was discussed, but these measures ultimately didn't make it into the restrictions.
  • Also excluded were financial penalties for individuals participating in large gatherings.
  • Fines will be levied on business that don't enforce the statewide mask mandate, and Utahns are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

What they're saying: "I don't have a problem with asking people to wear a mask, but you don't need to enforce it with penalties and fines," said House Speaker Brad Wilson, a Republican.

  • Other responses were less muted. "This is not acceptable. The Legislature has been sidelined through this entire episode," Rep. Phil Lyman wrote in an email to colleagues. "Please, let's follow South Dakota's lead, not California's."

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

"Every Mother Counts" founder: Midwives need more resources during the pandemic

Axios' Niala Boodho and Christy Turlington Burns.

Midwives and doulas need more support from states to ensure safer births for women , as hospitals increasingly become overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic, "Every Mother Counts" founder Christy Turlington Burns said on Tuesday at an Axios virtual event.

Why it matters: More mothers die in the U.S. from complications during pregnancy than in any other developed country, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund analysis, as well as past reporting by NPR and ProPublica.

14 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.