Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert Declares State of Emergency to Fight COVID

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Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency and mandated masks must be worn by all people in public until further notice as over 2,000 new daily COVID-19 cases have been reported. The orders officially went into effect Monday and will remain until Nov. 23.

“Masks do not negatively affect our economy, and wearing them is the easiest way to slow the spread of the virus,” said Herbert in a video announcement on Sunday.

chart, histogram: Utah's rising COVID cases and hospitalizations

ABC News reported during the last week, Utah “averaged 2,213 new positive COVID-19 cases per day and set a record on Friday with 2,987, according to the Utah Department of Health. On Saturday, the state recorded 2,956 new positive cases.”

“We must all remain vigilant until a vaccine is widely available. But we cannot wait upon a vaccine knowing the havoc that this pandemic has wrecked on families, schools and businesses,” said Herbert. “We must do more and we must do it now.”

The Governor’s executive order enacts statewide COVID-19 restrictions which:

  • Place the entire state under a mask mandate.
  • Limit casual social gatherings to household-only until November 23, 2020.
  • Put all youth and high school extracurricular activities, including athletic and intramural events, on hold for the duration of the order.
  • Require students enrolled at public and private colleges and universities, who either live on campus or attend at least one in-person class per week, to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.

Pfizer announced Monday Pfizer that an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

“We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope,” Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, told The Associated Press. “We’re very encouraged.”

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