Counties under Southwest Public Health Department in low levels of transmission — except for Iron County

Southern Utah News

CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) – Being mask-free in Southern Utah has been a trend before Governor Spencer Cox lifted the state-wide mask mandate.

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According to Dr. Michelle Hofmann, the deputy director of the state’s health department, this could be why Iron County can’t get their positive COVID-19 cases down as quickly as other counties.

“We’re vaccinating the cases are coming down because of vaccinations, masking behavior is also critical, if you aren’t vaccinated we should be wearing a mask, we should still be physically distancing,” says Hofmann.

David Heaton, of the Southwest Public Health Department, says they aren’t concerned. In the last 14 days they are averaging around seven positive cases a day.

“Even though that’s still showing up at a bigger rate than other counties, it’s still at a low enough rate that we still consider it a plateau of seeing reasonably low cases,” says Heaton.

According to date from the state health department, Iron County is still at a moderate level of transmission while the other four counties within the Southwest Public Health Department are in a low level of transmission.

“We’re seeing, demographically, kind of a bump in our new cases in Iron County in a younger population perhaps teens and young adults, so whatever reason, they tend to be at a lower risk as far as having impact, the risk though is they can spread it to more vulnerable person who is not yet vaccinated,” says Heaton.

This is why Heaton says the department is encouraging parents to look into getting their children 12 and above vaccinated.

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