Code Blue Alerts

What is a Code Blue Alert?

Code Blue Alerts were approved under a state law that became effective in 2023. The alerts are issued, by county, when temperatures in specific areas are expected to drop to 15 degrees (including the wind chill) for 2 hours or more during a 24-hour period. The alert allows shelters to relax and expand to give officials some flexibility to identify new locations to shield people who are experiencing homelessness from the cold.

Public facing emergency resources can be found at

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What does a Code Blue alert for my county mean?

For all counties listed above, the National Weather Service predicts temperatures will reach 15 degrees Fahrenheit, including a wind chill, for 2 hours or more over the next 24 hours. 

As a result, a Code Blue Alert has been issued for each county and the following provisions, as defined in Utah Code 35A-16-703, take effect. This alert will be in effect for 24 hours from the start time of this alert.

  1. A homeless shelter may expand the homeless shelter's capacity limit by up to 35% to provide temporary shelter to any number of individuals experiencing homelessness, so long as the homeless shelter is in compliance with the applicable building code and fire code;
  2. A homeless shelter, in coordination with the applicable local homeless council, shall implement expedited intake procedures for individuals experiencing homelessness who request access to the homeless shelter;
  3. A homeless shelter may not deny temporary shelter to any individual experiencing homelessness who requests access to the homeless shelter for temporary shelter unless the homeless shelter is at the capacity limit described in Subsection 1 or if the individual presents a danger to the homeless shelter's staff or guests;
  4. Any indoor facility owned by a private organization, nonprofit organization, state government entity, or local government entity may be used to provide temporary shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness and is exempt from the licensure requirements of Title 62A, Chapter 2, Licensure of Programs and Facilities, for the duration of the code blue alert and seven days following the day on which the code blue alert ends, so long as the facility is in compliance with the applicable building code and fire code;
  5. Homeless shelters, state and local government entities, and other organizations that provide services to individuals experiencing homelessness shall coordinate street outreach efforts to distribute to individuals experiencing homelessness any available resources for survival in cold weather, including clothing items and blankets;
  6. If no beds or other accommodations are available at any homeless shelters located within the affected county, a municipality may not enforce an ordinance that prohibits or abates camping for the duration of the code blue alert and the two days following the day on which the code blue alert ends;
  7. A state or local government entity, including a municipality, law enforcement agency, and local health department may not enforce an ordinance or policy to seize from individuals experiencing homelessness any personal items for survival in cold weather, including clothing, blankets, tents, sleeping bags, heaters, stoves, and generators; and
  8. A municipality or other local government entity may not enforce any ordinance or policy that limits or restricts the ability for the provisions described in Subsections 1 through 7 to take effect, including local zoning ordinances.

      Additional Resources

      • Office of Homeless Service contract holders may contact  [email protected] for technical assistance. 
      • An expedited in-take procedures one-pager is attached and support is available for shelters through the Office of Homeless Services at [email protected].