Governor-Elect Cox responds to Gov. Herbert’s 4 new Utah COVID-19 guidelines

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UTAH (ABC4) — Dr. Eddie Stenehjem read over the four new guidelines put in place by Gov. Herbert and said it needs to work.

RELATED: Gov. Herbert declares new state of emergency, statewide mask mandate, other restrictions

“It’s time to take a pause and follow a more sustainable path,” said Stenehjem.

Dr. Stenehjem is an infectious disease physician at Intermountain Healthcare, one of the largest health care providers in the country, and told ABC4 intermittent social disruptions of viral transmission works.

This means there needs to be a break for the virus to lose steam. That break is the four rules set forth by Governor Herbert.

This excerpt is directly from the governor’s office:

Pursuant to the State of Emergency, the governor and Utah Department of Health have issued
concurrent executive and public health orders designed to curb the surge of cases in Utah.
Both orders are effective Monday, Nov. 9 and will remain in effect until Nov. 23, 2020. The
orders:

  1. Place the entire state under a mask mandate. Under this requirement, all Utahns must
    wear masks in public, and when within six feet of anyone they don’t live with. This
    mandate is also enforceable in business settings, which must require employees to wear
    masks, promote patrons to wear masks, and post signage to that effect. Businesses that
    fail to do so will be subject to fines. Please note that even after the orders issued today
    expire, the mask mandate will be extended for the foreseeable future.
  2. Limit casual social gatherings to household-only until November 23, 2020.
  3. Put all extracurricular activities, including athletic and intramural events, on hold for the
    duration of the order.
    a. This does not limit intercollegiate athletic events, or practices and games
    associated with high school championships, that follow instructions for testing
    and limiting crowd size, as detailed in the order.
  4. Beginning as soon as possible, but no later than January 1, 2021, students enrolled at
    public and private institutions of higher education, who either live on campus or attend at
    least one in-person class per week will be required to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.

At 9 p.m. Sunday an EAS was activated telling Utahns to listen to Gov. Herbert’s address. It said the following:

Following weeks of continued stress on Utah’s hospital networks due to a rise in cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has declared a new State of Emergency to address hospital overcrowding.

“Whatever we do we have to do something aggressive and bold,” said Stenehjem.

“Everything we want to do everything we want to accomplish is threatened by this virus,” said Governor-Elect Spencer Cox. All of this, the new rules, are in effect Monday, November 9 through November 23 – and all of this is in effect to diminish the spread of Covid.

RELATED: Gov. Herbert sends EAS notification to Utahns announcing statewide mask mandate, other restrictions

“State and local authorities will prosecute and hold accountable those who sponsor and organize such events and gatherings,” said Gov. Herbert.

Gov. Herbert added organizers can face fines up to $10,000.

“As long as our community abides by it, it really has potential, positive benefits to really decrease our cases and I really hope it is enough,” said Dr. Stenehjem.

Stenehjem said this new two-week mandate is the tip of the iceberg.

Governor-elect Spencer Cox agreed with Dr. Stenehjem and said Utahns need to sacrifice a little for the good of the state

“I do think that all Utahns need to understand the next two months are really really critical for us,” said Cox.

Utah’s hospitals are operating at three times the volume they were at just six weeks ago. They were prepared to be full but were not prepared to have the number of caregivers given the exponential rise in cases.

“Beds don’t take care of people, people take care of people,” said Stenehjem.

This two-week period is about managing Covid and making sure case counts don’t explode according to Stenehjem.

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