Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you all had an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving holiday. One welcome change I have noticed over the last couple of weeks is the overwhelming shift on social media. It has been a breath of fresh air to see people focus on the good in their lives. After a tough year, it’s important to remember all there is to be grateful for. To top it off, it’s a blessing to have effective COVID-19 vaccines that will be available to the public in the coming months. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
From Gov. Herbert’s weekly COVID-19 briefing:
Utah’s rolling seven-day average of new cases is 2,627 and the rolling seven-day percent positivity is 24.2 percent. Currently, referral ICU’s are at 89 percent utilization.
Dr. Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist, announced that federal partners anticipate wide-spread COVID-19 vaccination as early as April. She, along with Gov. Herbert, urged Utahns to continue following health guidelines in the coming months to slow the spread before vaccines can be widely distributed.
Utah’s COVID-19 guidelines have been updated to align with recent CDC guideline changes. Asymptomatic individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will now only need to quarantine for 10 days. Additionally, individuals can test out of quarantine on day seven if they receive negative test results. The purpose of the guideline change is to reduce the hardship of a full 14-day quarantine. There is still a risk of developing COVID-19 after day 10, making it important to follow mask requirements and social distancing guidelines after quarantine. More information here.
Watch the full briefing here.
State Data (as of December 8th)
Total Cases: 219,971
Total People Tested: 1,512,808
Total Hospitalizations: 9,003
Total Deaths: 972
Estimated Recovered: 158,119
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 54,439
Total Tested: 310,433
Estimated Recovered: 40,487
The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through November 30.
In recent studies, it has been found that mask wearing has a positive impact on the economy, increases consumer confidence, and can save lives and money. Read more here.
The number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah for the week of November 22-28 was 3,519, with more than $9 million paid in benefits. There were 27,213 continued claims filed during that same week. The number of individuals who have not requested a benefit for two consecutive weeks as of November 21 was 2,567. Read the report here.
CARES Act Funds
Throughout the pandemic, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has disbursed over $16 million of state and Legislature-allocated federal CARES Act funds to 10 COVID-19 programs. Read more here.
The Utah Arts Festival will be hosting a virtual holiday gallery show through December 19, 2020. Learn more here.
In the News:
I Look Forward to Hearing From You!
I'll try to continually keep you informed about my work on the Hill – likewise, please keep in touch – I’d love to hear your insights and opinions.
I can be reached by email at email@example.com. You’re also welcome to join me at the Capitol and if you’d like to meet with me in person outside of interim or the legislative session, you can reach Jason Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll help us get in touch.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to serve in this capacity. We live in a unique and special place. Thank you for all you do to make Utah the best state in the nation – and thanks for paying attention.
Until next time,
Senator Dan McCay
Utah Senate District 11