Greg Bell, President, and CEO of the Utah Hospital Association spoke with Nicea DeGering today on ABC4 about Utah’s four largest healthcare systems joining together to encourage the use of face masks in public and work settings.

Leaders for Intermountain Healthcare, MountainStar Healthcare, Steward Healthcare, and the University of Utah Health, are concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases occurring throughout Utah.

Greg Bell explains they’ve sent a letter to the Governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert petitioning a rule requiring Utahns to wear masks. In the letter, they included information to support their request, such as:

  • A report from Goldman Sachs’s Chief Economist finds that masking 90% of people can reduce an R-naught infection rate of 1.6% to .6% over time. Masking has been the weapon of choice for successfully combatting and subduing the spread of COVID in east Asia and other places. The positive correlation between 90% of citizens wearing masks and the reduction of infection is beyond question.
  • The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce has made a similar request and has urged its member businesses to request the Governor that wearing masks be mandatory.
  • Last week, Republican Governor Greg Abbot of Texas ordered the wearing of masks in the face of the dramatic increase in Texas’ infection rate.
  • The HERO project recently found through 8,500 randomly selected Utahns’ antibody tests, that we have an asymptomatic incidence rate of only 2.4 for each confirmed COVID case. This is vastly less than estimates of there being unconfirmed cases of 10 to 25 times the known number of infected. This means that we are a long, long way from herd immunity.

When Utah went into Lockdown in march we were at 175 cases per day rate, now we are doubling infections every 5-10 days and this is concerning for hospitals because our ICU and hospitals will become overwhelmed if something is not done quickly.

For more information about how you can help, visit #MaskUpUtah or MountainStar Healthcare’s Website.

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