SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and other county leaders presented preliminary findings from the recently-enacted face-covering mandate used to fight the spread of COVID-19.
According to figures presented at press conference Wednesday, before to the mandate Salt Lake County was responsible for 50% of the new cases. Now it is showing a drop to 41%. The actual rolling case counts show Salt Lake County with 248 cases with the rest of the state showing 361.
Salt Lake County has experienced an increase in cumulative hospitalizations, but not as much as the rest of the state. The county has had 996 hospitalizations where the rest of the state is now at 1070 through Wednesday, July 20th, 2020.
Salt Lake County officials said they are seeing encouraging results since the mandate. Samples across the county and minor samples in two other counties, indicate Salk Lake County residents and business people trying to comply with the mask order. The results are preliminary. They pointed out they did not get to observe everyone and if someone’s mask revealed their nose that was counted as not wearing a mask.
“Face-coverings while effective need to be combined with other interventions in order for us to achieve the results we are all striving to achieve, the success of face-coverings cannot give us all a false sense of security we have to combine that with continued physical distancing, good hygiene practices, staying home when ill, staying home when exposed,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department.
Mayor Wilson said, “COVID-19 is frustrating for all of us, it’s heartbreaking for many, this (masks) gives us a little power in the conversation, when we do what we can do to change outcomes.”