ALL NEWS

Gov. Cox explains opening vaccine eligibility, lifting the mask mandate

Mar 18, 2021, 1:16 PM

vaccine eligibility...

Spencer Cox on Let Me Speak to the Governor

SALT LAKE CITY– With vaccine eligibility opening up to all adult Utahns beginning next Wednesday, Governor Spencer Cox spoke with KSL NewsRadio about how the state will continue to tackle the pandemic as more residents get shots in the arm. 

 

The decision to inoculate Utahns over the age of 16 was twofold.

First, Cox said local health departments have extra doses they insist on administering. Second, vaccine access is a big priority. Cox explained Utah’s multicultural communities need better access to the vaccine, and not all of those residents meet age or health requirements. 

“One of the reasons we made this decision [to open vaccine eligibility] is so that when these mobile units [enter Utah’s minority communities] they won’t have to pick and choose. They can just vaccinate everybody,” said Cox. 

Additionally, Cox said he foresees other issues arising, such as vaccine hesitancy, and leaders are trying to get ahead of the problem by increasing distribution.

“It’s not a big problem just yet, but it will be,” said Cox.  

Although thousands of Utahns will be able to get the vaccine next week, Cox warns it’ll take a while to get everyone vaccinated. 

Vaccine distribution: Utah v. the nation 

Currently, Utah is ranked 5th in the nation for vaccine distribution. As of Thursday, Utah has administered 1,080,039 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, as vaccine shipments increase across the nation and more doses become available, Utah could move down the list. 

“We can’t vaccinate kids under the age of 16,” said Cox, outline Utah’s vaccine distribution will seem lower than other states due to Utah having the youngest population in the US. And there’s a chance the age restriction could hinder herd immunity. 

Cox said he doesn’t know how the inability to vaccinate Utahns younger than 16 will impact herd immunity. But, he did mention it could pose a problem considering COVID-19 does spread easily among adolescents. 

Lifting the mask mandate

Utah is slated to lift the statewide mask mandate on April 10. Residents, local leaders, and health officials have raised their concerns about it being too early, but Cox said that before negotiations, the Utah Legislature was eyeing the mandate to end on March 10.

Even after the mandate is over, Cox said masks will still be required in certain instances.

“Kids will still have to wear a mask in schools, and masks will be required for mass gatherings,” said Cox.

Additionally, he said businesses will have the freedom to decided if masks are necessary or not. 

“Businesses can make their own decisions. If a business asks you to wear a mask, wear a mask,” said Cox. 

Last week, Cox said businesses should continue to wear masks to protect guests and employees. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is 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.
  • Wear a mask.
  • 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.
  • Get vaccinated.

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

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

President Joe Biden speaks following the news of the assassination attempt on former president Dona...

Emma Keddington

‘It’s time to cool it down,’ says Biden in the wake of campaign rally shooting

President Biden affirmed that America must never go down a road of violence in an address to the American people.

4 hours ago

A smokejumper parachuting to help contain the Speirs wildfire, which started Saturday night....

Emma Keddington

Speirs wildfire burning near Flaming Gorge, caused by lightning

A lightning strike ignited the Speirs wildfire Saturday night. The fire is currently 0% contained, but hasn't caused evacuations.

6 hours ago

An apartment fire on Redwood Road in West Valley City displaced around 30 people Sunday afternoon....

Emma Keddington

Apartment fire displaces around 30 people in West Valley

The fire happened on Redwood Road in West Valley City. The fire affected eight units and displaced 30 people.

7 hours ago

President Joe Biden addressed the country on Sunday, July 14 about heightened security measures fol...

Kennedy Camarena

President Joe Biden speaks after Butler, Pennsylvania campaign rally shooting

President Biden addressed the nation Sunday at the White House, speaking about the shooting that occurred at Donald Trump's campaign rally.

9 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service a...

JULIE CARR SMYTH, JILL COLVIN, COLLEEN LONG, MICHAEL BALSAMO, ERIC TUCKER and MICHELLE L. PRICE Associated Press

Local officer encountered gunman just before he shot toward Trump at rally, sources tell AP

One local police officer climbed to the roof and encountered the shooter, who pointed his rifle at the officer, AP sources say.

9 hours ago

Audience members duck in the crowd during a shooting attempt at a campaign rally for Republican pre...

Kennedy Camarena

Name of man killed in Butler, Pennsylvania campaign rally released

The Pennsylvania governor has released the name of the man who was killed in the Butler, Pennsylvania campaign rally on Saturday.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Gov. Cox explains opening vaccine eligibility, lifting the mask mandate