SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Many states have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. First, it was New York, then Florida, and then some midwestern states including Wisconsin. Now Utah is seeing a rise in cases, especially over the last week.
The state’s new case amounts have fluctuated over the last month, but have been consistently over 1,000 for the last week. Utah Governor Gary Herbert addressed the recent rise in cases Thursday, urging people to wear masks and stay away from large groups. He reminded people it’s important to even do so around family.
“We’re finding in fact it doesn’t matter if you love each other and your family or friends, that doesn’t make you immune from getting the COVID-19 virus,” Herbert said.
Utah’s case total is nearing 100,000 and will be well over that by the holiday season. Herbert asked for people to be aware as the season comes.
“We’re asking for some sacrifice, particularly as we come into Halloween and then into Thanksgiving,” Herbert said. “It’s just something that you need to be cognizant of and minimize the risk to yourself and your families by minimizing those social gatherings.”
Out of those infected, about 300 people are in the ICU. While this number seems very low, Herbert mentioned these units are being overwhelmed.
“It should cause us all concern with our ICU units being occupied by COVID-19 patients, and that has the potential to push out others who need it,” Herbert said.
Herbert said he doesn’t know what else he could do to make the people of Utah follow social distancing guidelines besides turning Utah into a “prison state.” He said the consequences of doing so would be negative.
Although Utah’s case numbers are high, the death rate is about 0.006%. Approximately 3% of Utah’s population has been infected.