Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope all is well with you and your family. We’ve had an interesting few weeks with an election that continues to be determined and ever rising COVID-19 case counts. I’m hoping that everyone takes the news in stride and remembers that Utahns have the will and fortitude to get through this. Before we know it, we’ll be back to seeing a friend’s smile without being covered by a mask, and maybe even shaking hands and a hug or two. As we approach Thanksgiving, let us all show thanks for the good in our lives and learn from the bad.
Gov. Herbert’s weekly COVID-19 briefing:
The state tested 1,360 individuals involved in high school playoffs and found only 49 cases of COVID-19. This is a 3.6 percent case rate positivity and shows high school athletes are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously. State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn encouraged all Utahns to act like high school athletes because they prove that modified behavior slows the spread of the virus.
It took 9 ½ weeks to double our cases from 35,000 to 70,00 cases but took only 6 ½ weeks to get from 70,000 to 140,000, showing an accelerated case infection rate. Gov. Herbert warned if we continue to double our cases, we will have overwhelming numbers in our hospitals.
Greg Bell, the CEO and President of the Utah Hospital Association, reported that hospitals are now operating under contingency care, which means they are expanding every possible resource, creating temporary ICU beds, transferring patients among hospitals and adding additional teams. Utah’s ICU capacity is essentially full; however, there is still plenty of room in the general wards and the acute care unit.
Watch the full briefing here.
Gov. Herbert made additional updates to the current State of Emergency and the Public Health order to clarify that:
Physical child custody exchanges, court ordered parent time, and at-home childcare services (including nannies and babysitters) are permitted.
Business services provided at a place of residence are permitted.
The requirements for on-campus college students to get weekly COVID-19 testing applies only to students who are age 18 or older.
More information here.
State Data (as of November 17th)
Total Cases: 158,957
Total People Tested: 1,265,600
Total Hospitalizations: 6,988
Total Deaths: 732
Estimated Recovered: 106,601
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 39,695
Total Tested: 260,926
Estimated Recovered: 28,040
The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through November 11.
Due to the COVID-19 spike in the state, Weber State University decided to cancel its fall 2020 graduation ceremony. More information here.
In-Person Worship Restrictions
The Utah Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued new temporary guidelines for in-person worship. Read more here.
Christmas on Temple Square
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that Christmas on Temple Square will be celebrated virtually this year. Learn more here.
CDC Holiday Advice
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued advice for the holiday season. Read 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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