SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Wednesday, Utah hit a goal set by Governor Gary Herbert last week to get the rolling seven-day positive average below 400. The Utah Department of Health states the new rolling seven-day average is at 389 cases.
“Both the State and Salt Lake County are seeing a decrease in cases,” said Nicholas Rupp with the Salt Lake County Health Department. “We certainly think it’s had a positive effect on helping those numbers go down.”
“Even with fewer tests, we are still seeing about the same percentage of tests come back positive. We are still between nine and 10%,” said Rupp.
Health officials want to see that number down around five percent.
Fast forward to August 11th, and the county states there were 127 new cases of the virus.
“We defiantly can not declare victory at this point. While we are seeing decreased numbers, we are still seeing a similar positivity rate among the people who are being tested. And that tells us the transmission is still occurring in the community,” said Rupp. “We cannot rest on our morals, we cannot take it easy now. We need to stay the course and continue taking precautions and doing the things we all need to do to help continue this trend.”
One valuable resource in the battle against COVID-19 is the educational mask-wearing videos produced by the county for minority and underprivileged communities where English is not the first language.
“That was key because we were seeing some increased cases and disproportionate numbers of cases in those communities,” said Rupp. “We do think that helped quite a bit in assuring that our diverse communities, all areas, all geographic areas of the county got that message and understood why it was important.”
Doctors say people should continue to get tested for the novel coronavirus if they are experiencing symptoms like coughing, muscle aches, headaches, loss of smell or taste, have a fever, or shortness of breath.
Some medical professionals believe because of the lower number of positive cases, the death and hospitalization rates will also drop sometime soon.