COVID-19: State epidemiologist says ‘risk of being infected is higher than ever before’

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah’s state epidemiologist says COVID-19 cases continue to increase, infecting hundreds of Utahns every day, noting the risk of being infected is higher than ever before.

As daily case counts continue to rise, Dr. Angela Dunn said the respiratory virus’ rate of transmission is a higher than a 1.0. This means if a person has the virus, they’re likely to infect one other person.

If the state’s transmission rate falls below the 1.0 threshold, Dunn said case counts will begin to decline.

And as the economy continues to reopen, and Utahns work toward limiting the virus’ spread, Dunn said to remember to wear a mask, stay home when sick and practice good hygiene and social distancing measures.

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“As we want to reopen the economy and make sure that our economic health is good, that we also take all the precautions necessary to protect our physical health, and mask wearing is one of those,” Dunn said.

With an acceleration of cases in recent weeks, Dunn said the state has not yet reached its peak.

“So, right now we’ve seen an acceleration from about May 28, with our daily cases now reaching in the 400s,” Dunn said. “So, we’re definitely seeing an increase in our growth rate, and unfortunately have not yet had that plateau.”

Dunn said public health officials still highly recommend wearing a face covering in public. If a person is in need of mask, the state will mail one for free, if it’s ordered online at coronavirus.utah.gov/mask.

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