CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19 Cases Dropping, But County Leaders Say ‘This Is Not Over’

Mar 24, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 9:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As new cases of COVID-19 trend downward along with hospitalizations and fatalities, Salt Lake County wants to keep up the progress and urged people to hold on to that mask even after getting vaccinated.

On Wednesday, county leaders shared their optimism and hope and tackled today’s toughest questions about the virus and the vaccines.

“We are in the 55th week of battling COVID-19 in our community,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We are getting closer to getting life back to what we used to know, but we are still facing challenges due to COVID-19.”

Now that the vaccine became available to all Utahns 16+, Wilson and her COVID-19 team recognized that there’s a lot of talk about the virus and the vaccines in the community, and not all of it is accurate. They offered answers in a Facebook live presentation.

Those 16 and older are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but in Utah County, they are already poking arms in this most recent rollout because appointments opened last Thursday.

The mayor and Gary Edwards, executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, were relieved to see a 79% drop in new cases since January, as well as declines in the positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths.

“The efforts that have been put in place, and the individual efforts of the residents of Salt Lake County and the residents of Utah are paying off,” said Edwards.

So far, nearly 500,000 people in Utah’s most populous county have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“That gives us hope and optimism as we move into the summer. But we have to remember that this is not over,” said Edwards. “We still don’t have an adequate proportion of the population vaccinated.”

Naturally, many want to know when can we stop wearing the masks?

“The information tells us that when we’re out, we should wear face coverings, especially those who have not been vaccinated, and then those of us who have, to protect the general public for some time,” said Edwards.

Fortunately, when vaccinated, most people report nothing more than mild side effects that include arm soreness, and maybe mild fever and aches that go away in about a day.

They reminded the public that each of the three vaccines available now in Utah is a good option, and very effective.

“Don’t worry about what vaccine it is,” said Edwards. “Just take the first opportunity to be vaccinated.”

So far, the vaccines appear effective against variant strains of the virus. But Utahns may need a booster in the future.

As far as vaccinating children under 16, Edwards was hopeful that by the beginning of the school year, one of the vaccinations will be approved for children 12 to 16. In the meantime, they urge adults to get their vaccination.

“All adults are now eligible for the vaccine and we have appointments,” said Wilson. “So, sign up.”

Edwards said the county is capable of delivering twice as many vaccines each day when more vaccine is available.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

15 days ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

2 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

2 months ago

Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

3 months ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

COVID-19 Cases Dropping, But County Leaders Say ‘This Is Not Over’