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COVID-19 Update July 17, 2020

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I want to express my appreciation to all of you for helping our state combat COVID-19. We must continue to do everything in our power to slow the spread of this virus. Our state has overcome difficult times before, and we will do it again.

Just a friendly reminder that as fires continue and Pioneer Day approaches, please be cautious and follow the latest fire and firework restrictions here and here. Enjoy the summer responsibly and if you are planning a trip, here is guidance on how to travel safely.

State Updates:

  • The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development launched a public information and education campaign, “In Utah,” to address Utahns’ health and wellness and encourage economic growth. More information here.

  • Traditional unemployment insurance claims decreased .5 percent from the previous week to 4,828 claims. Read the report here.

  • Announcements Gov. Herbert made during the weekly COVID-19 briefing regarding K-12 schools this fall:

    • Utah counties in the orange risk phase of the Utah Leads Together plan will be able to open and provide in-person instruction.

    • Exceptions to the mask requirement in K-12 schools include when students maintain a distance of six feet or more and when eating lunch. Students with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing and their educators, will not be required to wear masks but should use clear face shields.

    • Distance learning will be made available for students wishing to participate.

You can watch the briefing here. Read more about how school districts are planning to reopen here.

The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through July 14.

The graph below shows Utah’s COVID-19 curve status from June 16 through July 14. While daily case counts are not the best indicator of risk to the state, they can provide important perspectives on trends. Data from last week shows that cases are plateauing and even beginning to decline, indicating our state is heading in the right direction. However, this does not mean we should ease up but continue our efforts to slow this virus.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Utah’s application to participate in the Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer program. The Utah Department of Workforce Services is now working on creating the application process, which will be available by the end of July. Read more here.

  • The Utah Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Quality and the National Park Service discovered toxins from a harmful algal bloom in the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion National Park. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has issued a public health warning for the affected areas of the river. More information here.

State COVID-19 Data:

As of July 16, at 1:00 p.m. Utah's private and public laboratories have administered 439,528 tests with 31,845 testing positive. There are currently 199 people hospitalized with COVID-19. There have been 234 fatalities, with an estimated 19,214 recovered. Additional information can be found here.

During the weekly COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Angela Dunn announced that 251 of the new case counts for July 16 were from the past six weeks and came from antigen tests that labs started reporting in June. To better understand the updated data and new features on the case count dashboard, watch the video explanation here.

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