During the past several weeks, Utah, the nation, and world have been undergoing a public health crisis. COVID-19, also referred to as “coronavirus,” is a novel strain in the coronavirus family that has spread throughout the global community. Millions of people have been affected by the outbreak, the scale of which has never before been seen in modern times.
Because this virus is a new strain, most people are not likely to have immunity, and there is no current vaccine. This makes our response to COVID-19 particularly important when compared to other viruses like influenza. Even today, scientists are working to learn more about how the virus spreads and what can be done to contain it.
As a result of the emergence of COVID-19, many public health experts have called for government-led action to help safeguard the health and well-being of their communities. Across the country, states have implemented various restrictions and guidelines to help protect their constituents.
Here in Utah, we are no exception, and government on all levels has taken data-driven decisive action to mitigate risk. We know firsthand this disease does not respect boundaries or one’s position in life. Too many have lost those they hold dear, and numerous Utahns are struggling economically.
Despite these trying times, we should not lose hope. We can all be inspired by how Utahns have joined together to help their communities. Heroes in healthcare have sacrificed greatly, working tirelessly to care for those in need. Leaders in business have partnered with government and each other to support employees and neighbors in the face of economic peril. The generosity and determination of Utahns to donate, volunteer, and adhere to guidelines has been a source of immense pride. Utah is known around the world for our collaborative spirit and willingness to help, and the actions of our constituents have reinforced this perception.
Though Utah’s response has been received favorably thus far, progress is still needed on our path forward. All of us must take the responsibility to help protect those at high-risk, and help keep our state as one of the most innovative and desirable places to live in the nation.
During the coming days, we encourage you to frequently visit our coronavirus website for the most current news and updates. Consuming accurate information from reliable sources is an important part of the solution, and we encourage you to share updates and news with your friends and neighbors.
As we continue down the road of economic recovery and take steps toward a new normal, we know that our instinctive desire to lift one another up and lean on our friends will be a source of strength. Governor Herbert is proud of the efforts of Utahns thus far, and is confident we will continue to make progress together as one Utah.