State leaders growing frustrated with spike in COVID cases

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SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Frustration is growing among state leaders as the rate of new COVID cases increases.

In the past 24 hours, there was an increase of 1,543 cases.

“It’s really been a challenge for us,” said Gov. Gary Herbert. “It’s been so uncertain. It’s been very complex.”

Herbert made the comments at his monthly news conference on Thursday.

“I’m concerned about what we don’t know about the long-term impacts of this pandemic,” said Herbert.

The Governor sharing his personal struggles with how Covid-19 has impacted his family.

“I have a daughter who is three months since being infected with Covid-19 and still does not have a sense of smell fully back,” said Herbert.

In addition to his daughter, Herbert says his 13-year-old granddaughter lacks an appetite after becoming infected.

In addition to the more than 1,500 new positive cases, there was an increase of 10,291 people tested in a day.

“I just don’t know what to do anymore,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, State Epidemiologist. “We as a state, we have set the table. We’re prioritizing and focusing on individuals taking responsibility to slow the spread of Covid-19.”

The concern now is overwhelmed hospitals and lack of beds in Intensive Care Units during Flu and Cold season.

Despite these frustrations, the Governor maintains he doesn’t want to mix politics into Utah’s response to the pandemic. So, he doesn’t want to enforce a state-wide mask mandate.

“This has now been taken out of my hands,” he said. “We have transmission rates, categories, and so the local health departments and the local elected officials are going to be held responsible for making sure there’s enforcement in place and that people are complying.”

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