SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) A group of doctors in Utah are calling on the governor to issue a statewide state-at-home order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Utah Academy of Family Physicians, which represents more than 1,100 physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students across the state, calls on Gov. Gary Herbert to a issue stay-at-home order for the entire state.
The group joins a growing chorus of county and city leaders urging Gov. Herbert to issue an order. As of Tuesday, April 7, Utah is one of only nine states that has not issued a statewide order.
The group says although Utah’s confirmed cases numbers are “relatively low,” the state must “provide valuable time to health care facilities to procure critical PPE and learn more about how to properly treat those diagnosed with this illness.”
“We are gravely concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the public and on practicing family physicians providing primary care in Utah. We are particularly concerned that those without symptoms can transmit and spread the virus without realizing it – which can severely affect our capacity to safeguard the health of our communities,” said Utah Academy of Family Physicians in statement.
The group wants Gov. Herbert to order all residents to stay home except to acquire necessities such as food, medicine or medical care. On March 27, Gov. Herbert unveiled a “Stay Safe. Stay Home” directive urging Utahns to stay home as much as possible while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.
“We have seen that encouraging people to follow social distancing is not enough; parents need the support of an order to help our youth understand the seriousness of the challenge we face,” the group argues.
When asked why he has not issued a statewide order, Gov. Herbert has said he’s trying to “balance” public health and the health of the state’s economy.