HEALTH

Cox announces members of transition team; says pandemic war is being lost in homes

Nov 5, 2020, 7:41 PM
Utah mask mandate...
(Spencer Cox, left, and current Utah governor, Gary Herbert, bump elbows during the press conference in the capitol's Gold Room. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News.)
(Spencer Cox, left, and current Utah governor, Gary Herbert, bump elbows during the press conference in the capitol's Gold Room. Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News.)

SALT LAKE CITY – Education, government efficiency and the COVID-19 response. Governor-elect Spencer Cox said those will be some of his top priorities as he moves forward with his newly-announced members of his transition team. 

The official transfer of power will happen Jan. 4, and Cox expects current governor Gary Herbert to actively lead the state until his term ends. In the meantime, Cox announced some of the people who will assist in the transition between the two administrations.

First to be announced was Cox’s new chief of staff, Jon Pierpont, who was the former executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services.  Cox also named Jennifer Napier-Pearce, former executive editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, as his new senior adviser and director of communications.

Also named to several transition committees were former Utah 4th Congressional District Representative Mia Love, Salt Lake County Council Member Aimee Winder-Newton and former Utah Department of Commerce Director Francine Gianni.

Lieutenant Governor-elect Deidre Henderson said their administration will always keep education as their top focus. Plus, she said they plan to look at every department of state government to find ways they can increase productivity.

Another one of the biggest areas of focus will be containing the spread of COVID-19.  Utah set another one-day record Thursday, with 2,807 new confirmed cases and 389 hospitalizations.  Despite spiking number of cases, Henderson said she feels state government has done everything it can to contain it.

“I don’t believe that we have gone in the wrong direction, at all,” she said. 

Henderson contracted the virus earlier this year, and she said that experience shaped how she views the pandemic. 

“Physical distancing and mask wearing is so important,” Henderson said. “It’s not so much about protecting you from the virus.  It’s about protecting other people from you if you happen to have the virus and don’t realize it, yet.”

According to Cox, Utah isn’t losing the battle against the virus on the state level.  He said it’s happening at the family level, with people spreading the virus with others in their homes.  He said people are infecting their loved ones and that’s overwhelming the hospital system.

“This is crunch-time,” Cox said.  “The next two months are absolutely critical.  We are in a dire situation and we cannot emphasize that enough.”

Cox said he hopes to increase both rapid surveillance testing and asymptomatic testing.  He believes if health workers can conduct hundreds of thousands of those tests per week, the state could get ahead of the virus. 

He also expects to beef up contact tracing, and said there could be announcements about that in the near future.  Plus, there’s another item Utah needs to prepare for.

“One of the things we should be focusing on in January will be vaccine distribution,” Cox said. 

Cox said frontline workers and people in Utah’s vulnerable populations will get the vaccine first.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
1 day ago
A sign for the Food and Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters in July 2020 in Whi...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

ALS drug gets FDA approval despite uncertainty about effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for ALS on Thursday.
1 day ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
2 days ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
4 days ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
4 days ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
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.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
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.
Cox announces members of transition team; says pandemic war is being lost in homes