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Tuesday April 16, 2024 Salt Lake City, UT



Inside DPS

Media Alert

Press Release

Protecting Utah

Unified Command for Coronavirus Response

Wednesday April 1, 2020

Utah has established a unified command at the State Emergency Operations Center at the State Capitol. This is where the state gathers the most critical players in the same room to make sure the government is working as efficiently as possible.

Right now, those critical players are the Utah Department of Health, supported by DPS’s Division of Emergency Management. We also have the National Guard, Department of Public Safety, State Purchasing, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, and more partners both working in person and remotely.

DPS Commissioner Jess Anderson has been asked by Governor Herbert to lead the unified command.

Level 1 Activation

The State Emergency Operations Center is currently activated to a Level 1 – Full Activation.

Level 1 means that the state is using resources from most state agencies in response to an incident. In this case, Utah experienced an earthquake in the middle of a pandemic. So state agencies are responding to multiple incidents.

A Level 1 activation gives us the greatest flexibility to use what resources are needed from state government on behalf of our residents. Governor Herbert is expecting to make a request for a major disaster declaration to the President of the United States related to the effects and expenses of coronavirus in Utah. 

Three Objectives for the Unified Response

Governor Herbert outlined three objectives for the unified response.


Governor Herbert issued a Stay Safe, Stay Home directive to all Utahns on Thursday, March 26, 2020.  The directive includes specific instructions for all individuals, as well as high-risk individuals (60 years and older and those with serious underlying medical conditions), and children. The directives regarding hygiene, gatherings, travel, and outdoor recreation were effective immediately.

Current objectives for the unified response with regard to health include the following

  • Increased testing
  • Finding and deploying PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Planning for hospital surge/quarantine/overflow

The Economy

Governor Herbert and his team developed The Utah Leads Together economic response plan, which recognizes the value of facing uncertainty with a dynamic, data-informed, and unified plan. It gives structure and order, to what can otherwise be an unclear and difficult reality.The plan conveys three phases of response: urgent, stabilization, and recovery.

Information and Communication

The unified command will continue the coordinated effort to share information and provide education to all stakeholders involved.

Public outreach includes social media, billboards, press conferences, paid ads and more. It features a website dedicated to information about coronavirus in Utah as well as the utilization of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Daily briefings are held for the news media and public and are broadcast live.

Mission assignments

The following are some of the projects and initiatives the unified command has been working on together



Hillary Koellner
Director of Public Affairs
Department of Public Safety


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