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Department of Public Safety issues emergency alert for COVID cases

Oct 30, 2020, 2:49 PM
COVID emergency alert...
The Utah Department of Public Safety sends out an emergency alert statewide following the state's COVID-19 update of 2,292 cases. (Screenshot by Cami Mondeaux)
(Screenshot by Cami Mondeaux)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Public Safety issued a wireless emergency alert Friday afternoon in response to the state’s spike in COVID-19 cases. This comes on the same day Utah reported 2,292 new coronavirus cases — the highest single-day increase the state has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Department officials said they sent out the notification because they believe there are “a number of people who are not aware of the dire situation we find ourselves in.”

A dire situation

“We will issue a single Wireless Emergency Alert statewide as a brief interruption to make sure nearly everyone is aware of the serious nature of the pandemic,” the department said in a statement. 

The alert hit cellphones and mobile devices just after 2 p.m. with the following message: 

State of Utah: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Record cases. Almost every county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public health order, masks are required in high transmission areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. Visit coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels to see your county’s information. Be careful!

An emergency alert for COVID

State officials used wireless emergency alert capability to deliver the message to mobile devices statewide.  They intend for the message to increase awareness around the rising numbers and to inform Utahns on transmission risks. 

“Our goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system,” the department said. “If we can just get this message in everyone’s hands, we believe more people will take action to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Amid the spike, the Department of Public Safety said it’s important for Utahns to remember the coronavirus is “deadly for some.” As a result, everyone must be careful. 

“Though many people have experienced mild cases of the disease, we need to err on the side of caution,” the department said. “[We need to] protect those around us who may be more vulnerable by wearing a mask, limiting our social gatherings and getting tested when we have symptoms.”


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Department of Public Safety issues emergency alert for COVID cases