SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The state of Utah sent an Emergency Alert to hundreds of thousands of cellphone users Friday reminding residents of a public health order requiring the use of masks in all “high transmission” areas for COVID-19.
According to the Emergency Alert, issued just after 2 p.m, “COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Record cases. Almost every county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public order, masks are required in high transmission areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. Visit coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels to see your county’s information.”
Friday’s cell phone alert was sent in both English and Spanish, and came on the day health officials revealed the highest number yet for single day cases of COVID-19 in the state of Utah. According to the Utah Department of Health 2,292 Utahns tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours with 318 people hospitalized, one more than the previous record, which was set Thursday. The state health department also reported three additional COVID-19 patient deaths Friday.
A spokesman for Utah’s Department of Public Safety said the decision to send the alert was designed to let residents know the state’s healthcare situation is unsustainable.
Gov. Gary Herbert echoed those sentiments in a statement Friday.
“While it is true that Utah’s COVID-19 mortality rate is substantially lower than the national rate, we must not become numb to what these numbers mean for our communities — for those infected, for everyone who loves them,” Herbert wrote.
“Assuming a 5% hospitalization rate, and a 0.5% fatality rate, we would see 115 hospitalizations and 11 deaths, just from the nearly 2,300 cases we are announcing today.
“This will cause increasing strain on our already overworked medical professionals, and leave even more families with an empty chair at their dinner table. And that is to say nothing of the long-term effects many more of these Utahns will face, even as they recover. We cannot be too cautious in our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of Utah go to https://health.utah.gov/