SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Public health officials are concerned as data shows a ‘sharp spike’ in the number of COVID-19 cases this week.
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said it’s not a single hot spot where an uptick of cases is seen – rather, it’s statewide.
As restrictions have loosened in recent weeks, Dunn acknowledge that public health officials knew it would likely increase cases in the Beehive State but said it’s not the simple act of loosening restrictions that causes cases to grow.
“It’s what we do in society and the actions we take that cause COVID-19 to spread much more quickly,” Dunn said.
While a majority of confirmed cases continues to be spread within households, Dunn said data shows an uptick in workplace and community spread.
As the economy and events continue to reopen, Dunn encourages the public to limit close contact with others – make sure to wear a mask – and to stay home if a person notices any signs or symptoms of the respiratory virus.
“Loosening restrictions does not mean that the risk of spread is decreasing,” Dunn said. “This means that we must continue to take actions as individuals to avoid unnecessary illness and death due to COVID-19 in Utah.”
During Wednesday’s briefing Dunn also said that wearing a mask is not a replacement for social distancing.
“Masks do not eliminate the risk of spread due to COVID-19,” Dunn said. “They have been shown to reduce the spread, but the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through social distancing.”
Because data shows the state is seeing an uptick in cases, Dunn said hospitalization numbers could increase by next week.
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