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Gov. Herbert celebrates COVID-19 successes in the state

Gov. Gary Herbert took time in a news conference Thursday, May 7, 2020, to celebrate successes in fighting COVID-19 in Utah. Photo: KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert said the rate of transmission of coronavirus, or COVID-19, appears to be stabilizing in Utah. 

At a news conference on Thursday, Herbert said for every Utah resident who contracts COVID-19, they spread the virus to just one other person, which is below the national average. 

Additionally, Herbert lauded the state’s success in keeping the rate of deaths related to the virus relatively low compared to other states. Utah reports the lowest percentage of COVID-19 deaths compared to confirmed infections anywhere in the US. The state is also fourth highest in the nation for testing. 

“It is pretty remarkable what we’ve done in that short a period of time,” Herbert said. 

Herbert said Utah could look forward to moving from “orange” to “yellow” and eventually “green,” referring to the state’s color-coded health guidance system. The state moved into “orange” from “red” earlier this month. 

Of the state’s 5,724 total cases of COVID-19, health officials estimate 2,640 people so far have recovered. 

However, the governor cautioned Utahns should not assume the coronavirus threat is over. 

“There is no playbook. [This has] never happened before,” Herbert said. 

The Utah Department of Health reported three new deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Utah to 61. A total of nearly 500 cases required hospitalization so far in Utah. 

Herbert pointed to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as uncharted territory that the state continues to navigate. For example, unemployment claims dropped last week in the state, but the reduction could be a result of fewer people seeking work. 

This story will be updated.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States