CORONAVIRUS

Governor Announces New Multicultural Task Force Subcommittee In Fight Against Coronavirus

Apr 23, 2020, 2:01 PM | Updated: 3:57 pm

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a press conference April 23, 2020...

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a press conference April 23, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday announced the creation of a new multicultural task force in the state’s ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It will be a subcommittee of the state’s COVID-19 Community Task Force.

“We care about everybody in the state, making sure everybody has an opportunity to get through this challenging time,” Herbert said.

The task force was created in response to the higher rate of infections seen in Utah’s Hispanic and Pacific Islander communities. Data also shows a negative impact on lower-income communities, especially if they don’t speak English or don’t have access to technology, according to state officials.

Herbert said Utah’s eight recognized Native American tribes are a specific focus for the task force.

“We’ve pushed out public health emergency preparedness funding to tribal programs that have applied for help and assistance and also to the Urban Indian Center here in Salt Lake City,” Herbert said.

Other aid includes agricultural assistance for alfalfa and grain for the San Juan Southern Paiute Nation, personal protection equipment as requested by each tribe, food donations and hygiene material.

The tribes have also received several radios to help support communication needs.

“We are anxious to continue and even increase our efforts with our native American brothers and sisters,” the governor said.

Utah had previously supplied the Navajo Nation with mobile testing units as it continues to struggle with slowing the spread of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, 49 deaths and 1,282 cases were reported in the hardest-hit Native American reservation. By comparison, Utah has 35 confirmed deaths for the entire state.

The tribe has imposed daily and weekend curfews and a news release said there were no plans to loosen any orders efforts to control the disease.

A full report of impacts to multicultural communities will be available at multicultural.utah.gov.

The state also has a multilingual resources section on its website. It includes information in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, French, Karen, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Mongolian, Persian Farsi, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tongan and Vietnamese.

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Governor Announces New Multicultural Task Force Subcommittee In Fight Against Coronavirus