GOVERNMENT

Utah starts a coronavirus task force, even though risk to people remains low

Mar 2, 2020, 8:19 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:04 am
Utah's coronavirus task force met at the Emergency Operations Center at the state capitol over the ...
Utah's coronavirus task force met at the Emergency Operations Center at the state capitol over the weekend to come up with a plan to fight the deadly virus. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers, health departments, and faith-based organizations have formed a coronavirus task force in case it ever becomes widespread in the state.

The coronavirus task force met over the weekend to work on plans if schools, churches, businesses, mass transit, and other public spaces had to be closed due to widespread coronavirus.

Though, at a news conference at the state capitol on Monday, Governor Gary Herbert and others stressed that the risk of coronavirus to the regular person remains low.

Governor Herbert also asked regular people, families, and businesses to have their own safety plans in place in the unlikely event of widespread infection. He also encouraged people to check on vulnerable populations.

“We have a responsibility, in fact, to do what we can to help our neighbors. It might be a shut-in, it might be some elderly couple that doesn’t know or doesn’t get out,” Herbert said.

The coronavirus task force also plans on launching an official website to fight misinformation online.

To that end, Governor Herbert said buying bottled water is “an overreaction” because a coronavirus outbreak would not affect the water supply.

Utah is dipping into its rainy day fund to pay for the coronavirus task force. However, the governor was encouraged after getting a call from Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading US efforts to fight the virus, saying Utah could qualify for a share of $2 billion in federal funds that would go to help localities deal with the disease.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn reiterated that the risk of infection is low, but she would not be surprised if more people get it.

“We can definitely expect community spread of COVID-19 in Utah,” Dunn said. She added that it is a “highly communicative” disease with the elderly one of the most at risk for serious complications.

Dunn says if we begin to see a spread, a way to fight it would be to stop mass gatherings which could potentially entail closing schools and not going to church on the weekends.

Currently, one person is being treated in Utah for coronavirus. At least 17 people have been screened for it. 15 of those tests have come back negative and two are awaiting results.

Salt Lake City International Airport has also been screening passengers who are traveling to Utah from mainland China.

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Herbert Cox statement Reyes election lawsuit...
Mark Jones

State of Utah files lawsuit against pharmaceutical retailers

Three pharmaceutical retailers are facing a lawsuit from the State of Utah. The lawsuit was filed the week of July 1.
3 days ago
This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
4 days ago
Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the oath for the Supreme Court....
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Jackson sworn in, becomes 1st Black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn as the court's 116th justice Thursday, just as the man she is replacing, Justice Stephen Breyer, retires.
4 days ago
Immigration activists rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 26. Photo credi...
Tierney Sneed and Priscilla Alvarez, CNN

Supreme Court says Biden can end Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ immigration policy

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave President Joe Biden the green light to end the controversial "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy.
4 days ago
The Supreme Court is pictured. The court just limited the EPA...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

The Supreme Court on Thursday limited how the nation's main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
4 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference on the final day of the NATO summit in Madrid, ...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden says transatlantic alliance has adapted to new threats

Biden's comments came at a press conference in Madrid at the conclusion of the annual meeting of NATO leaders and after he attended a summit with the Group of Seven advanced democratic economies in the Bavarian Alps.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah starts a coronavirus task force, even though risk to people remains low