Thanks to all who joined our tele-townhall tonight. We will certainly be hosting more of these in the future. We are joined by Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Utah Department of Health Deputy Director Nathan Checketts. If you missed the event, you can catch the Facebook Live video [HERE] or read a recap below:
- On COVID-19 testing: “We’re on a good trajectory. We’re testing several hundred a day and the labs are projecting they’ll be able to test in the low thousands early next week and moving up to possibly 2 or 3 thousand by the week after that.” – Nathan Checketts
- The importance of social distancing is emphasized. Lt. Gov. Cox emphasized the importance of social distancing: “Our real hope is that we’ll be able to slow the spread of this and that treatments will become available. Some treatments look promising, including one that the University of Utah is working on.”
- After a schoolteacher asked for a message to his students, I shared, “This feels like a dark time and clearly we’re in a storm. But all storms pass. Going into this, we were on top of perhaps the greatest economy in history. When we do get back in the sunlight, we’ll rebuild.”
- We plugged Utah’s Coronavirus website: coronavirus.utah.gov as a resource for more information about Utah’s case counts, updates from the CDC, how to find testing and more.
- We wished Rep. Ben McAdams a quick recovery and discuss what voting would look like if he’s unable to make it out there. Currently there’s no mechanism to vote so for now, he’d simply have to miss that vote.
- Q: Once vaccines are available, which recipients would be prioritized? A: This has not yet been discussed, but we know that COVID19 is particularly a danger for individuals over the age of 60. They would be a priority group, as well as our healthcare workers.
- Q: Why is the coronavirus a bigger deal than the flu? Is it worth the alarm and panic? A: It has a higher mortality rate and is much more contagious.
- Q: How do we flatten the curve while not flattening the economy? A: I share that concern. Afterwards we’ll need to spend time analyzing our reaction this to be better prepared the next time this happens. We discussed the stimulus package, more details availableHERE.
- I have personally seen our national parks as a great place to get away and have the appropriate social distancing that’s required. I would encourage people to explore our Wasatch Range– I also know that Green River would love to host you.
- Where appropriate, patronize local businesses. Order take out! The more we can support them, the more we can lessen this economic blow that’s coming. Perhaps you’ve heard the suggestion of buying gift certificates. Do what you can within your means to support these businesses.
WEEKEND OF PRAYER AND WORSHIP
Due to challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, many Utahns will be unable to spend time in their houses of worship this weekend. Whether or not you are religious, I invite you to join us this weekend in a weekend of prayer and service. Below is a letter from Gov. Gary Herbert.
LOOKING OUT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
I am concerned with some of the paid leave provisions included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the implications for small businesses across Utah. Today I wrote a letter [link to letter] to United States Treasury Department Secretary Mnuchin asking for relief on behalf of the countless small businesses that I represent.
In addition to this letter, my staff and I are working closely with the Secretary’s congressional affairs team to answer specific questions we are getting from businesses.
I’ll continue talking with our business leaders to gather feedback on how we can improve this law and possible improvements to the third bill the Senate Majority Leader introduced yesterday.
Governor Herbert has delegated Lt. Governor Cox to lead a task force of public health leaders, business leaders, public school professionals and community advocates to examine best practices to avoid community spread. They’ve been meeting regularly. For updates on what the State of Utah is doing to keep Utahns healthy and safe, please visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
- Make sure to wash your hands.
- Refrain from touching your face.
- Know the symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
- If you’re feeling sick, stay at home and contact your health care provider.
More tips are available on the CDC’s website.