With 138 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3 hospitalizations in Southwest Utah reported Friday, leaders said they were anticipating being approved as early as midnight for a “yellow” reopening designation, just days after the state rejected their initial request and one week after the state moved to “orange.”

But early Friday evening, officials in Southwest Utah learned the state wants to wait at least until Monday because the area’s COVID-19 “transmission rate” has elevated to 5.0 over the last 7 to 14 days, officials with the city of St. George tell ABC4 News. The state told local officials the rate is supposed to only be at 1.5 or less in order to go “yellow,” and the plan is to wait until at least Monday and observe this weekend’s COVID-19 data.

At this point, local officials say the “yellow” designation will only apply to 3 counties under the supervision of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department: Washington, Iron, and Kane counties. The other two — Garfield and Beaver counties — are not included because county and city officials here said they did not feel comfortable, officials say.

More From KDXU 890 & 92.5