The US state of Utah has declared a state of emergency along with new measures amid rising novel coronavirus cases. 

“Due to the alarming rate of COVID infections within our state, tonight I issued a new state of emergency with several critical changes to our response,” Governor Gary Herbert wrote on Twitter late on Sunday.

Utah residents received a notification from the Emergency Alert System that included a statewide mask mandate.

People are now required to wear masks in public and within six feet of anyone they do not live with. Businesses must also have their employees wear masks at work and post signs in that respect, which otherwise they will be subject to fines.

While social gatherings are also limited to households, students enrolled at higher education institutions will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19.

The orders went into effect as of Monday and will remain until Nov. 23.

“I implore you now to do all you can to stop the spread. It is time for Utahns to unite in this response and bring healing back to our state,” Herbert said.

Utah had a daily record high number of new COVID-19 cases with 2,987 on Friday, bringing its total cases to 132,621, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US overall has reported a record single day spike in new cases for four days in a row, while the latest daily high came on Saturday with 128,412 new cases.

The country’s total cases stood around 9.97 million and there were over 237,000 deaths as of Monday, the data showed.

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