HEALTH

COVID-19 cases rising but mask mandate not coming back to Utah

Sep 6, 2023, 3:38 PM | Updated: 3:39 pm

new variant...

FILE: In this photo illustration, an at-home COVID-19 test by Abbott shows a positive result. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — In the last week, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen 18% in Utah. However, this number is still about a third of what it was last year.

The jump in cases comes just a few weeks before an updated COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be released. Epidemiologists say the jump is typical as temperatures cool down and school comes back in session.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and the Department of Health and Human Services are saying mask mandates will not come back.

“We’re not pushing for any policy in that regard,” said Josh Benson, an epidemiologist with the Department of Health and Human Services. “But it’s an individual choice where you need to assess your risk level … If you feel that you’re at risk, (or) you’re going to be around people who are, then you can make that choice for yourself.”

According to Benson, there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases all around the nation.

“So part of it is new variants going around, people going back to school, starting to gather more often. Those things always have an effect,” he said.

Benson also said, along with COVID-19, cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus also rise during the fall and winter.

Find out more at coronavirus.utah.gov.

Curt Gresseth contributed to this story.

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COVID-19 cases rising but mask mandate not coming back to Utah