The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths is rising, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn in today’s press conference. Since yesterday, there are 295 new cases making it a total of 10,497 cases, and four new deaths, a total of 117, in the state.
“I want to be very clear that we have increased the spread of COVID-19 in Utah,” said Dunn. “This past week we’ve had a sharp spike in cases. And it’s not explained easily by a single outbreak or increase in testing. This is a statewide trend.”
Dunn said that when the state loosened restrictions a few weeks ago, they expected the number of cases to increase. Most of the new cases come from close contact in the home or workplace.
“It’s not the simple act of loosening restrictions that causes cases to increase. It’s what we do in society and with our actions that can cause COVID-19 to spread more readily," Dunn said.
Recently the Utah Public Health and Economic Recovery Commission recommended moving the state from the current yellow phase to green, further opening the economy. However, Dunn said the Utah Department of Health does not recommend any jurisdiction going to green.
“The Department of Health is very concerned about this rise in cases,” said Dunn. “It could mean that we are just starting the acceleration phase of this outbreak and can anticipate further increases over the coming weeks.”
The governor is expected to announce how the state will move forward later this week based on these recommendations.