I’m providing daily updates through Utah’s two-week Stay Safe, Stay Home period. Tune in here for today’s update:
Posted by Governor Gary Herbert on Monday, March 30, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 30, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s daily COVID-19 case number is up 87 new documented cases in 24 hours; there are 806 total cases as of Monday.
That is a 12% increase in cases in about 24 hours. During the previous 24 hours, from Saturday to Sunday, there was a 24% increase in cases.
There have also been 16,003 lab-confirmed tests. Patient deaths now stand at four.
The largest case increases were in Salt Lake County (up 39) and Summit County (up 16). The only area not reporting any cases thus far is Central Utah.
Gov. Gary Herbert said in a daily briefing Monday Utah has a three-phase plan to deal with the pandemic; those three phases are the urgent phase, the stabilization phase and the recovery phase.
“We are in the urgent phase now,” Herbert said. “We’re doing things that are important in the urgency phase, like ramping up our testing. The biggest challenge the country’s been facing is the lack of the ability to test everyone. Now we’re just testing those that have the symptoms. We’re doing about 2,000 tests per day, but we want to ramp up to do 7,000 per day, and in doing so that’s going to help us reduce the transmission rate. That’s the single goal and purpose of the urgent phase. In doing so we will ensure we do not overwhelm our healthcare system.
Herbert said the next two weeks will be critical in the battle.
“Everybody has a role to play and everybody needs to be engaged,” Herbert said. “We introduced here last Friday our overall slogan of ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home.’ There is no better place for people to be if you’re concerned about catching or giving the coronavirus.”
Herbert said that as far as work is concerned, he is asking that employers and employees work together in partnership to find opportunities to work from home if possible. If employees need to go to work, they should practice social distancing and enact hygiene protocols.
“We need to adapt and then innovate, if we do that we’ll be able to overcome,” Herbert said. “We’ve also allowed for some regional variation. We do not believe that every part of the state is the same when it comes to the coronavirus.”
Herbert said approximately 8% of the cases in the state are hospitalized, and of those 44% need to be treated in the ICU.
He added that relief packages are on the way for those who are out of work and businesses that are having difficulties; Herbert said he is expecting the economy to normalize by the end of summer.
“I know we’re going to be successful,” Herbert said. “It’s just a matter of how long.”
Executive Director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development Val Hale also spoke at the briefing, announcing the Utah Leads Together Small Bridge Loan program, which offers bridge loans to Utah based small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The program will use some $8 million in re-purposed state economic development funds and more funds are likely to be added. Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000 with zero percent interest over a 60-month period. Loan payments will not be required for the first 12 months of the loan and 8% of that amount is earmarked for businesses in rural communities. Businesses can apply for the loan starting Tuesday at 8 a.m. at Utah.coronavirus.gov. For more information about that program click here.
The numbers below are from the Utah Department of Health’s coronavirus case update website.