Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I’m sure your Halloween celebrations were different than usual this year. I hope you were still able to celebrate and create memories while helping slow the spread of COVID-19.
2020 has definitely been a challenging year for us all and adding a contentious general election to a world-wide pandemic can be overwhelming. I challenge each of you to go out of your way to show kindness to someone with a different viewpoint than your own. When the pandemic and election are both over, we go back to being neighbors and fellow citizens engaged in the same cause, making our collective lives as Utahns better.
Highlights from Gov. Herbert’s weekly COVID-19 briefing:
Utah’s hospitals are on the brink of becoming overwhelmed and will soon be unable to provide adequate care for everyone in need, including those with COVID-19 and other medical emergencies.
Dr. Mark Shah, emergency physician at Intermountain Healthcare, said 5 percent of Utah’s COVID-19 patients require hospitalization, with 20-30 percent of those needing intensive care for prolonged periods of time, straining Utah’s supply of care.
The State of Utah has prepared a Crisis Standard of Care to guide the allocation of scarce patient care resources. It was developed in collaboration between ER doctors, medical ethicists, medical directors, nurses, emergency managers, hospital administrators and policy experts. The document eliminates bias and discrimination and has been reviewed and supported by the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Read the Crisis Standard of Care here.
Two more counties (Uintah and Duchesne) moved from moderate to high on the Transmission Index, resulting in a total of 23 counties in the high category.
At this time, most of Utah is under a mask mandate and social gatherings are limited to 10 or less people. It’s important for Utahns to follow these guidelines to help change our hospital capacity trajectory and make a difference in our state’s COVID-19 outcome. Read the guidelines here.
Utah, along with 31 other states, is experiencing the highest COVID-19 case counts since the beginning of the pandemic. Though our case counts and hospitalizations are high, Utah’s mortality rate is five times lower than the national mortality rate.
Watch the full briefing here.
Most people will not have to pay for COVID-19 testing. If you have health insurance, you should not be charged for a test, no matter what testing site you visit. If you are uninsured and are a U.S. citizen and Utah resident, you qualify for COVID-19 testing coverage through Medicaid.
Small Business Grant
Utah’s Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant reimburses businesses that paid their employees regular wages while quarantining or self-isolating from COVID-19. Learn more about the grant here.
The number of new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah for October 18-24 was 3,993, with more than $12 million paid in benefits. Traditional unemployment insurance new claims decreased by 4.71 percent from the previous week to 2,382 claims. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance new claims decreased by .4 percent from the previous week to 701 claims. Pandemic Extended Unemployment Claims decreased by 14.1 percent from the previous week to 910 claims. Read the report here.
EDA Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently launched the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) new Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology challenge. CARES Act monies provide the EDA with funding for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. Learn more here.
State Data (as of November 3rd)
Total Cases: 119,375
Total People Tested: 1,105,427
Total Hospitalizations: 5,665
Total Deaths: 620
Estimated Recovered: 87,211
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 31,093
Total Tested: 228,704
Estimated Recovered: 23,575
Additional Covid-19 information 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. My mobile phone number is (801) 810-4110. 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 email@example.com. 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