During his monthly press conference on Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert responded to increased case COVID-19 counts in the state addressed the spread of the virus among student populations.
“The inconvenience and sacrifice are momentary. But people get sick and probably have long term impacts. And those that die of course, it’s the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
Herbert announced 1,198 new cases in the state of Utah on Thursday. The hospitalization rate has gone up from 115 to about 180. With the surge taking place, he said it is important to come together as a state.
Herbets said while he applauds the creativity of Utah high schools that are moving football games to different areas to avoid COVID-19 restrictions and of students holding private, unsanctioned homecoming celebrations, people need to remember lives are at stake.
“Maybe there won’t be any fans in the stadium. And that’s sad for parents and friends of the players. I get it. I understand that," he said. "But we have a higher calling right now to stop the spread of this coronavirus."
Herbert said he is appreciative of the universities in the state who have taken the pandemic seriously and expect behavior modifications from students. He compared these sacrifices to ones people had to make during events like World War II.
“We teach our young people that sometimes things happen in life that make it a little inconvenient and there’s a sacrifice required," he said.
As far as some schools choosing to stay open even after they have reached 15 positive cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff, Herbert said proportionality should also be taken into account.