SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah reported its second-highest daily number of new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the state deals with a troubling surge that has already led the state’s Republican governor to enact a face mask requirement at certain state buildings and pause before lifting more business restrictions.

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Salt Lake County Health Department’s public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus anti-body test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

© Provided by Associated Press
Salt Lake County Health Department’s public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus anti-body test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The 590 new COVID-19 confirmed cases are the second-most since the pandemic began, behind only the 643 tallied Saturday, state health department figures show.

The state has averaged 503 confirmed cases per day over the last week — more than double the 200-per-day rate the state’s epidemiologist recommended that state should be at by July 1 to avoid having to consider a total shutdown of the economy.

Gov. Gary Herbert has said he will not shut down the economy, but has agreed to wait at least two weeks before loosening any more restrictions. The surge in cases began after he allowed restaurants, gyms, salons and other businesses to reopen last month and approved larger gatherings of people.

© Provided by Associated Press
Salt Lake County Health Department’s public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus anti-body test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah is one of several states experiencing a spike in cases after reopenings, along with Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Herbert wants everyone to wear masks, but has stopped short of implementing a statewide requirement. Instead, he wants counties to ask his permission if they want to make them mandatory. Herbert said he expected to approve that request from the state’s largest county, Salt Lake County, where about 1.1 million of the state’s 3.2 million residents live.

© Provided by Associated Press
In this Tuesday, June 23, 2020, photo, a “Face Covering” sign is shown at Snider Bros. Meats, in Holladay, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The state reported one more death from COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to 164.



Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears a mask as he waits in the hallway before the start of the daily briefing on the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Hebert said he will require face masks at state-run buildings that include liquor stores and higher education offices and approve a request from the state’s largest county to make face coverings required in certain situations. But the Republican governor stopped short of implementing a statewide requirement for face coverings as several other states have done such as Washington, California and New York. (Steve Griffin/ Deseret News via AP, Pool)




Utah Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during the daily briefing on the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 Thursday, June 25, 2020, at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)




Utah Gov. Gary Herbert takes off his mask before speaking during the daily briefing on the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19 Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Hebert said he will require face masks at state-run buildings that include liquor stores and higher education offices and approve a request from the state’s largest county to make face coverings required in certain situations. But the Republican governor stopped short of implementing a statewide requirement for face coverings as several other states have done such as Washington, California and New York. (Steve Griffin/ Deseret News via AP, Pool)



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