Leaders in the State of Utah released an update regarding the wildfire spread of the COVID-19 virus entering record numbers with the latest count of the Coronavirus in Utah reaching 3,919 cases and a consecutive 7-day average of 2,738 cases. At the live press conference and streaming event, Governor Gary Herbert utilized the time to offer the governments current response to the pandemic and utilized the platform to welcome health professionals who offered insights into the dire need for action and a cause of alarm that has fallen on deaf ears in local rural areas of Utah. In areas where the pandemic has taken less of a hit, it also is taken less seriously even though the pandemic continuous to spread at alarming rates surging nationwide. Both Governor Herbert and the President/CEO Utah Hospital Association Greg Bell now look to paint a picture of the effects the pandemic is having on our hospitals with information on the rise in Covid-19 hospitalization across the State with 83% of all ICU beds in the state are occupied, Herbert stressed the effects on the overall functions of the hospitals here in Utah.
Governor Herbert also laid out groundwork for further testing and how to slow the spread of the virus. He mentioned that Social Distancing is working along with the wearing of masks although a strict statewide mask mandate is hardly enforced.
Governor Hebert began the press conference by utilizing Utah college football players as an example of those who are acting responsibly due to the low amount of players testing positive. Knowing that college football reaches the hearts of many Utahns, Governor Gary Herbert has allowed football playoffs to continue in the State of Utah. He continued the press conference with encouragement of the wearing of masks, stating that the research shows that wearing a mask does work.
And not just with young people to blame, in Utah, large family gatherings are being singled out as a culprit to the spread. Therefore, State Leaders are placing a two-week pause on the after-school activities and organized sports such as high school sports and discouraging the gatherings of 10 or more people. However, later in the press conference when being pressed by reporters, Governor Herbert downplayed and stalled the role opened bars and gyms play in the spread of the virus.
The Governor pledges to ramping up testing opportunities alongside the CDC in colleges and trade schools, focusing on a goal of 250,000 a week searching for asymptomatic people to slow the spread and infection rate of nearly 22%.