SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utahns over age 50 can schedule appointments for their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8.
The new directive was announced by Gov. Spencer Cox (R) during a Thursday morning press conference. Other groups will also become eligible for the vaccines, including those age 16 and above who have diabetes, a BMI of 30+, or suffer from chronic kidney disease.
“Assuming everything works according to plan vaccinations will be available for every adult in early April,” Cox tweeted earlier in the day.
The governor also announced Salt Lake County and Davis County will be moving from the “high” to “moderate” on the Utah’s COVID-19 transmission index.
Cox said the decision to change the counties’ rankings to “moderate” was based on a decrease in the 14-day case rate and in percentage of each county’s positivity rates.
According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, masks are still required statewide under the “moderate” transmission level.
“With few exceptions, physical distancing is now recommended, not required. (i.e., tables in restaurants don’t have to be 6’ apart, but masks are required at all times unless actively eating or drinking; the exception: 6’ distancing between parties is required in waiting areas,” SLCHD said.
“Shoulder-to-shoulder seating is allowed at public gatherings (such as live events, theaters, sporting events, weddings, etc.) but masks are required at all times unless actively eating or drinking—in which case, patrons would have to have 6′ of distance between parties.”
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall released a statement on social media calling the day’s developments encouraging, but warned people to remain vigilant.
“The announcements today are an encouraging reflection of how far we’ve come in our work to diminish this virus,” Mendenhall said. “We’ve seen a tremendous decline in cases and with the increased vaccination rollout and targeted focus on our hardest-hit communities, our metrics now show the data we need to see to shift.
“The news today of the vaccine being available to people aged 50 and over is great news and I hope everyone who qualifies will make their appointment starting Monday. Every shot matters in our pursuit of a continued downward trend of cases, and for the time being it continues to be critical to wear a mask and stay socially distanced,” the mayor said.
To learn more about Utah’s “moderate” COVID-19 transmission index go to: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels/
For the latest information on the spread of COVID-19, globally, and, in the United States, follow Gephardt Daily’s link to the Johns Hopkins University and Medical Coronavirus Research Center.