Governor Warns Utahs To Take Coronavirus Seriously After Record Daily Cases

Sep 24, 2020, 11:19 AM | Updated: 8:09 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert announced that Utah was reporting a one-day record of 1,198 new coronavirus cases during his monthly meeting with journalists. He expressed concern that so many people are not taking the virus threat seriously.

The Beehive State reported 1,198 new cases Thursday, breaking the state’s previous single-day increase of 1,177 cases, which was reported Friday, Sept. 18.

The governor also said Utah will report 180 current hospitalizations, which continues the upward trend in virus-related hospitalizations.

Gov. Herbert holds monthly news conference

LIVE: Gov. Herbert answers questions during monthly news conference.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, September 24, 2020

He once again pleaded with people to follow the rules for their community to slow the spread of the virus.

“All of us have a role to play,” he said in a remote press conference. “We need to change our behaviors. We, in fact, control our own destiny. If we do the proper protocols, we can slow the spread, and have some great success.”

Gov. Herbert said the divisiveness that he has seen in our state is his biggest concern. He said each Utahns needs to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

“The thing that is most concerning to me right now is the divisiveness that I see out there in the marketplace,” Herbert said. “We have people out there purposely adding kerosene to the fire and becoming divisive, when they ought to be saying let’s work together to find compromise.”

He once again urged everyone statewide to practice social distancing and wear a mask.

“We have a serious problem, and it’s not fictional, it’s real,” he said. “We have people who are getting sick and we have people who have died.”

Herbert worried about the record number of COVID-19 cases, and the substantial surge in hospitalizations, which he said creates as much trouble for health care staffing as it does for the number of beds.

“This is something we need to be working together on,” the governor said.

The inconvenience and sacrifice will be temporary for most, he said, while those who get sick may have long-term impacts and may even die.

“We are asking people to do certain things and modify their behavior to help us win this war on the pandemic,” he said.

When a vaccine eventually arrives, the state may be just as divided over that as it is now over wearing masks. In a recent poll, half of Utahns said they would take an FDA approved vaccine. A quarter would not take it, and another 25 percent said they don’t know.

“The best option would be if we could get herd immunity by vaccination,” Herbert said. “If you get 70 percent of the people who actually do get vaccinated, over time you’ll have that same kind of immunity.”

He said education will be the key to a vaccination campaign.

The governor said he would get a vaccine, when available, and acknowledged there is fear for some people.

“There may come a time, I believe, when people will fear the coronavirus more than they fear getting a shot,” he said.

A statewide mask mandate was still an option, he said. He would rather leave those decisions to local governments, as long as some of our counties have few cases.

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Governor Warns Utahs To Take Coronavirus Seriously After Record Daily Cases