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Gov. Cox Encourages Vaccines, Discourages Fireworks At Monthly News Conference

Alex Proimos

As the number of Utahns receiving vaccines continues to decrease and temperatures in the state continue to hit record highs, Gov. Spencer Cox used his monthly news conference to focus on the success of vaccines and the importance of not lighting fireworks this year.

Gov. Cox announced at his monthly news conference on Thursday that Utah’s COVID-19 cases have plateaued. Although there are a few incidents of break-through cases where a vaccinated person becomes sick, the vast majority of new cases and hospitalizations are unvaccinated individuals.

 

“Short story, vaccines work," he said. "They work at the rate we were told they were going to work. They’re incredibly successful, and we need people to get vaccinated.”

 

Cox said since March 23, almost 97% of the over 28,000 COVID-19 cases in the state were in unvaccinated people. In that same time, just over 95% of 1,625 COVID-19 hospitalizations were for unvaccinated people.

 

COVID is not the only crisis the state is facing right now, as Utah experiences possibly the worst drought in the state’s history. The govenor said as of June 1, statewide reservoir levels are 15% lower than last year. Reservoirs are already lower than the year before with 21 out of Utah’s 42 reservoirs below 55%.

 

Cox said he met with the Attorney General’s office and his general counsel, and he does not have the authority to implement a statewide ban on fireworks this year. He said if he was able to, he would.

 

“We are relying on local governments to put those restrictions in place," he said. "I would also say, look people, just please, this is not the year. Even if you think you’re being extremely safe. It’s so easy, one spark. Everything is so dry. It’s drier than you think.”

 

Gov. Cox reminded Utahns that if they start a fire, they will be held liable.

Harley is a news reporter at UPR. She covers a bit of everything, but especially news dealing with education and updates from the governor. She has always loved both writing and public speaking, so radio is perfect for her. She is a student at USU studying journalism, sociology, and criminal justice. Outside of work and school, she loves running, hiking, and exploring National Parks.