SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Governor Herbert and the health department updated Utah on the pandemic situation.
First, the governor talked about schools opening back up, and said that 40 out of 41 school districts are now open. He mentions the kids being happy to be back in class but noted it is a little different than what we are used too, and they were going to ask people to act a little differently.
The governor said that teacher safety is also being thought about because they are now in a more vulnerable classification. The governor thanked teachers, students, parents, school board members in trying to get the schools open in a safe way.
He then had students from Enterprise High School who have been trying to get their community to wear masks talk about what they are doing and the benefit of masks.
Education Director Tammy Pyfer spoke next. She talked about the overview of the 40 school districts. She said they have been encouraged by the environments and activities they have seen in schools that teach and integrate social and emotional skills. This was a goal they had prior to the pandemic closures.
She defined it as managing stress, building relationships, teamwork, respect for others, developing a sense of confidence and optimism, negotiating conflict, perspective-taking, empathy, and resilience,
She noted the positive comments that have been on social media, talked about how a concerned parent told her she was glad online was there, because she was not comfortable sending her child back to school, and that she was glad there is not an “all or nothing approach.”
Director Pfyfer said during the school openings there have been some bumps and miscommunications, major adjustments, and minor adjustments. She said, “We’ve been encouraged that for the most part, the feedback we’ve gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.
The Governor encouraged people to get tested, and went over the symptoms, he then welcomed back Dr. Angela Dunn and proceeded with a question and answer with her about the virus.
Dr. Dunn first reported the situational update
Doctor Angela Dunn stepped up to the podium next and gave the state’s pandemic numbers, and an update on what is happening with the virus here in Utah, specifically addressing testing again.
She did say that the state has seen a drop in people getting tested every day, she said it could be due to people not being sick or not having symptoms. She explained they have had their highest testing numbers at the same time they have had their highest case numbers. She said, “It could be a really good thing our testing numbers are going down, however, given that we still want to make sure…we have the capacity to test anyone in the State…if you have any of the six symptoms or have had contact with a confirmed case, we want you to get tested.”
She said that the percent positivity is decreasing, and that means we are doing a better job of controlling the threat of COVID-19.
After Dr. Dunn the Governor stepped back in and said he wanted Utahns to remember these five things.
- Our Economy which has not been shut down like other states is showing signs of growth.
- We see the private sector stepping up.
- The 7-day average is around 370 cases right now, it’s been a lot of work from everyone.
- The hospitalization rate has dropped dramatically. Only 9% of the ICU beds are used for COVID-19
- Our mortality rate is the lowest in the nation