Coronavirus Cases To Surge As Testing Ramps Up, Gov. Issues Weekend Of Prayer Proclamation
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox said Wednesday’s earthquake delayed recent testing for the coronavirus as state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn announced the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Utah climbed to at least 112 — an increase of 34 new cases since Thursday.
The Utah State Public Health Lab closed after the 5.7 magnitude tremor to make sure chemical spills caused by the earthquake did not contaminate any testing samples.
Cox said as the lab catches up on the backlog, the state is expecting a surge in the number of positive tests early next week.
“We would like to get to 1,000 tests per day and we’ll go up even from there until we’re testing 2,500 to 3,000 cases,” he said.
LIVE: Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is providing an update on the coronavirus outbreak from the Utah State Capitol.
Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, March 20, 2020
As the number of tests goes up, so will the number of people testing positive for the disease. Cox said that will give the state enough evidence over the next couple of weeks to see where the coronavirus is and where it’s spreading.
As concern spreads across the country and the world, Cox revealed Governor Gary Hebert issued a proclamation declaring this weekend a “weekend of prayer and worship.”
Cox read the proclamation that says, in part, “Whereas: we will get through these hard times, particularly as we come together as a community and as we hold to our faith in God, therefore, I Gary R. Herbert, governor of the great state of Utah, hereby declares March 20, 2020, through March 22, 2020, as a weekend of prayer and service in Utah.”
I invite all to participate in a Weekend of Prayer and Service in Utah, March 20-22. We also encourage acts of service to happen in ways that will decrease risk of contagion. Whether or not you are religious, I hope you find peace or guidance this weekend. pic.twitter.com/VebmWS9SoE
— Gov. Gary Herbert (@GovHerbert) March 20, 2020
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How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
How To Get Help
If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.
If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
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