Utah (ABC4 News) — Utah issued an emergency alert due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 within the state on Thursday.

“We’ve been talking for awhile about how do we make sure a message gets into the hands of everybody in Utah,” said Joe Dougherty, Spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Friday’s wireless message alert had the capacity to reach 3 million people.

“This was a chance to beg one interruption to say it’s time to pay attention if you haven’t been,” said Dougherty.

The emergency alert said, “State of Utah, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Almost every county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public health order, masks are required in high transmission areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. Visit coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels to see your county’s information. Be careful!”

The emergency alert comes as Utah announced 2,292 new COVID-19 cases, its highest case count since the beginning of the pandemic.

Utah has not yet issued a statewide mask mandate, but masks are required in the county’s classified by the state as “high transmission areas.”

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