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#MaskUpUtah: State’s Hospitals Ask Public To Wear Face Coverings, Slow COVID Spread

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Hospital Association and the state’s largest health care systems are joining forces to encourage Utahns to wear face coverings and help slow the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.

“As healthcare leaders, we earnestly request the public’s help in curbing the significant increase in COVID cases in Utah,” said Greg Bell, UHA president and CEO. “Masking up is an important way everyone can help. Think of someone you love or care for; wear a mask for them. If we all wear our mask regularly when out in public or at work, we can bend the curve, protect our vulnerable loved ones and keep Utah’s health care resources readily available for all.”

The Mask Up Utah initiative began Tuesday, one day after a memo from state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said Utah has entered the acceleration phase of the pandemic and state leaders should take action to avoid a “complete shutdown.”

Representatives from Intermountain Healthcare, MountainStar Healthcare, Steward Healthcare and University of Utah Health said they were concerned about Utah’s rise in cases and wearing face masks “can make a significant difference in helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”

“A lot of misinformation has been spreading recently about facial masking. However, clinicians agree that face coverings, when worn appropriately, block most infectious droplets originating from the individual wearing the face covering. Thus, blocking transmission into the community,” they said.

They also said testing has plateaued in Utah, meaning the rise in positive cases is not due to more tests being done.

COVID testing has plateaued in Utah since early May, according to the Utah Dept. of Health.

Health care officials said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases will hit Utah’s hospitals seven to 10 days later.

UDOH officials reported 394 new cases, five deaths and 34 additional hospitalizations on Tuesday; approximately 62 percent of Utah’s ICU beds were occupied.

Clinical leaders from Utah’s major health care systems added they will approach their capacity to treat patients in the next four to six weeks at the current transmission rate, which shows hospitalizations doubling each week.

Utah's Hospitals Encourage All To #MaskUpUtah

LIVE: Utah hospitals and health care systems are encouraging Utahns to use face masks in public and at work. #MaskUpUtah

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The campaign will continue throughout the summer months on social media, digital, print, radio and billboards.

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