Utah COVID-19 surge leading to new state health orders

COVID-19. Image: CDC

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah state epidemiologist, announced record numbers of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, along with a seven-day rolling test rate at a high of 19.5% positive.

She also said at a news conference Thursday that Utah’s Intensive Car Units are operating at 78% capacity, before she turned the mic over to Gov. Gary Herbert.

“It’s grim news and it’s discouraging,” Herbert said. “Unfortunately, the news of these higher numbers are not surprising, and if projections that we have coming out of our Department of Health are correct, we’re going to see higher numbers in the upcoming days and weeks. We will continue to see this dramatic increase unless we modify and change our behavior.”

Herbert says he fears Utahns hear the increasing numbers, “that we just kind of glaze our eyes over and are numb,” and that hospitals will become overwhelmed. He and other officials have been in emergency meetings, he said.

Speaking with leaders around the country, Herbert said many states are seeing case spikes. He said that next week, he hopes to announce modified guidelines, still being refined, and he hopes to make an announcement about it in the first part of next week.

Herbert said all Utahns need to accept that the virus is not a hoax. It’s a serious that not only kills, but may result in longtime medical problems for patients who survive.

Herbert also said COVID-19 spikes would result in economic losses related to the travel industry.

“We need to take our conduct seriously,” he said.

Herbert also said he feels positive that a vaccine could be approved within a few months, although it would take some time for doses to be available on a widespread basis to all members of the public.

To see Herbert’s Thursday news conference in its entirety, click on the link above.


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