As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, continues to grow in the United States, state officials in Utah have created a task force to determine how to best mitigate the spread of the virus locally
“This is really an all-hands on deck exercise. Everybody has a role to play if we're going to get in front of this and minimize that spread. There's only so much government can do. And we're going to do what we can. But we're going to call upon the private sector to do what they can also,” Governor Gary Herbert said.
Herbert and other state officials spoke at a press conference on Monday to provide an update on state efforts to address the spread of COVID-19. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox announced he will be heading a task force that will meet at least weekly to discuss disease prevention and mitigation efforts.
The task force will include government, community and business leaders as well as healthcare officials.
“I think the one thing takeaway that we would give right now is every organization, every business, every church, every family needs to talk about their own plan. It doesn't have to be anything ultra-serious. But what would you do in the situation that there is an infection that you have to be quarantined?” Cox said
Both Cox and Herbert said state leaders and agencies will do what they can, but that communities and businesses will need to take an active role as well.
For example, they said this may include employers allowing people to work from home if they are feeling under the weather or it may look like neighbors working together to provide childcare if someone’s arrangements fall through because of illness.
A state website with coronavirus information has been launched to help debunk misinformation about the disease. Herbert reminded Utahns during the press conference that washing their hands with soap and water while singing the “Happy Birthday” song two to three times is one of the most effective prevention methods.