Gov. Herbert declares state of emergency in preparation for coronavirus cases in Utah

Utah COVID-19 Task Force submits unanimous recommendation for declaration

SALT LAKE CITY (March 6, 2020) – Earlier today, Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the evolving outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“Our number one focus is preparing for the arrival of novel coronavirus,” Gov. Herbert said. “Issuing this declaration now allows us to take additional proactive steps that will make a big difference in how effectively we can respond once we start seeing COVID-19 diagnoses in Utah.”  

The governor emphasized that the executive order is part of Utah’s preparedness plan and comes at the unanimous recommendation of the Utah COVID-19 Task Force. The task force is led by Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox and includes public health officials and health representatives from the private sector, as well as business, education, and community leaders. 

“While no one in Utah has yet tested positive for COVID-19, issuing this order now allows our state and communities to access additional funding and resources that will be instrumental in helping us prepare to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Lt. Governor Cox.

Cox also noted that Utah’s neighboring states have announced their first cases of COVID-19.

In addition to recommending that Gov. Herbert declare a state of emergency, the task force discussed several other mitigation steps in their Friday morning meeting, including developing outreach plans to address vulnerable populations, identifying ways to increase capacity to test for COVID-19 and ensuring access to telehealth care for residents statewide. The state is also working together with partners in the private sector on a mass media public information campaign. More information on these efforts is forthcoming

Notes: As of Friday, March 6th, Utah still has not had a confirmed case of COVID-19, excepting a single patient who contracted the virus outside the United States. He was transported to Utah for treatment at the request of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC does not classify him as a Utah case. 

You can help stop the spread of novel coronavirus through simple prevention steps, including washing your hands thoroughly, disinfecting shared surfaces and covering your cough. If you have symptoms that match coronavirus, including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your clinician via telephone or telemedicine, and stay away from public spaces, except to seek medical care.

More information available at https://coronavirus.utah.gov

Twitter: @UtahCoronavirus

Facebook: @UtahCoronavirus

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