Anyone entering the state of Utah via highway, including truck drivers, will be required to fill out an electronic form regarding COVID-19 as of April 10.
In an April 8 announcement of the executive order, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the order was aimed at preventing “nonessential travel," especially ahead of Easter Sunday. noting that this time of year is a popular time for spring break travel.
Drivers entering the state from a number of entry points, including Interstate 15 at the Arizona border, Interstate 80 at the Nevada border, and Interstate 84 at the Idaho border, will receive an automated text message through the federal Wireless Emergency Alerts system asking them to visit http://entry.utah.gov and fill out the declaration form. The alert is triggered by geofencing.
That form explains that “each person 18 years of age and older entering Utah must submit an electronic State of Utah Travel Declaration Form within three hours of entry… This declaration serves to inform individuals of Utah's current COVID-19 related restrictions and declare information that will be used by the Utah Department of Health to help track and trace COVID-19 infections that may arise from persons who enter the state of Utah from national or international travel.”
The form asks questions such as entry location, name, date of birth, whether you have been tested for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, whether you are showing any COVID-19 symptoms, address, phone number, and specific places traveled in the previous 14 days.
If someone enters on their declaration that they are exhibiting symptoms, someone from the Utah’s tracing team will contact and get them quarantined. Having this information will help trace and mitigate the spread, according to a frequently asked questions document from the governor’s office.
That FAQ also specifically addressed truck drivers:
Are truckers also required to fill out this form?
Yes. The Governor’s Executive Order is intended for all adults who enter the state of Utah, on our roads and at the Salt Lake International Airport.
What if the motorist or trucker is only driving through Utah and doesn’t actually stop anywhere in the state?
The Governor’s Executive Order states that all travelers over the age of 18 who enter the state must complete the form within three hours of arriving in the state. Please keep in mind that the form should only be completed in a safe location, and not while driving.
As a trucker, I have been to more states during the last two weeks than the form allows space for.
Beginning with the most recent states you have visited, please list as many as the form allows you to list.
A local news outlet reported that when asked whether there would be a penalty for those who didn’t comply, a Utah DOT spokesman said the agency did not plan to “chase vehicles down that did not fill out the form.”
According to the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force, the following locations will be alerted:
- I-15 at the Arizona border
- US-89 north of Kanab
- US-491/191 at Monticello
- I-70 at the Colorado border
- US-40 at the Colorado border
- I-80 at the Wyoming border
- I-15 at the Idaho border I-84 at the Idaho border
- I-80 at the Nevada border
This order will go into effect at 8 a.m. on April 10 and remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 1.
Rick Clasby, executive director of the Utah Trucking Association, told HDT the afternoon of April 9 that he had been trying to get clarification from the state Department of Transportation about how truckers would be affected.
"As you can imagine, our phones have blown up this morning," he said. Although early communication from the agency had indicated truck drivers would not have to comply, the FAQ from the governor's office in the afternoon clearly indicated truckers were expected to fill out the form.
Paul J. Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, said in an email alert late in the afternoon that the association was trying to get more clarification. "If you think that this is unconstitutional you are right. This is an impediment to interstate commerce, which was one of the main reasons we jettisoned the Articles of Confederation and adopted our Constitution way back in 1789."
In a series of tweets Friday morning, the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force emphasized that drivers will not be stopped for a COVID-19 screening and shared the following URL for more information: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-to-alert-drivers-entering-utah/
Updated 8:05 a.m. EDT 4/10/2020 to add comment from the Nevada Trucking Association.
Updated 10 a.m. EDT 4/10/2020 to add information from the Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force