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State workers in Utah expected back in their offices May 31

Cherry blossoms frame the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 4, 2021.

(Annie Barker, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state workers will be expected back in their offices on Monday, May 31 unless continued teleworking has been approved. An email sent to KSL Newsradio from the office of Gov. Spencer Cox says they're still encouraged to be vigilant about good hygiene and maintaining physical distancing.

Employees and their families are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinations as a way to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

But mandates to wear masks at work will expire, the statement said. The continued use of Plexiglas shields will be up to the individual departments of state government.

Thousands of state workers have been telecommuting, doing their jobs from home, during the months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Utah Department of Workforce Services, for example, employs hundreds of call center workers, and many of them could continue their jobs from home. Deputy Director Nate McDonald said they want to put people where they're most efficient.

"We're going through, job by job, and determining which ones are telework, which ones are in-office and which ones can potentially be a hybrid," McDonald told KSL Newsradio.

McDonald said opportunities for workers outside the Wasatch Front have actually expanded during the pandemic.

"Just at the start of the year, we hired 30 staff in three different communities . . . all in rural Utah," he said.


We're going through, job by job, and determining which ones are telework, which ones are in-office and which ones can potentially be a hybrid.

–Nate McDonald, Utah Department of Workforce Services deputy director


The state has tried to maintain public-facing services such as vehicle registrations, driver license renewals and state liquor stores, struggling early in the pandemic with changes such as closing some locations temporarily or requiring appointments. Even state parks were closed for a time to all visitors except those who resided in the same county.

Many of those restrictions have since been relaxed.

Dan Bammes

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