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FILE: Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a weekly COVID-19 situational update
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Herbert, State Leaders Holding Emergency Meeting After COVID-19 Spike

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert said he is considering taking stronger actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus after a recent spike in cases – including two days with new cases above 1,000 per day.

The governor is meeting with the state’s Unified Command for Coronavirus Monday morning to consider new measures to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

The meeting comes after numbers peaked on Friday, with an all-time high of 1,117 new reported cases. Cases topped 1,000 again on Saturday. 

Cases in Utah County continue to make up approximately 40% of the state’s positive results, according to the Utah Department of Health. State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said that likely won’t change until the younger population starts taking precautions more seriously – including wearing masks.

There were 920 new cases reported Sunday, 416 of which were from Utah County. Another 336 were from Salt Lake County. Those two figures make up 69% of the state’s new cases.

Health officials said the spike is likely a combination of the Labor Day holiday and college students returning to physical classrooms.

“What we know is that COVID is still here, and it’s spreading throughout our communities at the exact time when we are all so tired and sick of wearing face masks, and sick of social distancing, and just want to go back to life as normal,” Dunn said during a recent TEDx event in Salt Lake City. “Unfortunately, the virus is impeding that desire, and we’re gonna have to stick with it a little bit longer.”

Dunn also said flu shots should be on all of Utahns’ “to do” lists. She said fewer people hospitalized with the flu will keep medical facilities open for those who many need it for COVID-19.

Herbert on Saturday renewed Utah’s state of emergency, which gives the government the flexibility to take action if and when it’s needed.

The state of emergency must be renewed each month.

According to the state’s Coronavirus Task Force, the governor had planned to renew the state of emergency even before Friday’s spike in cases.

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