Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we approach the Christmas holiday, I have reflected on all that our community has been through this year. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people who continue to make Utah the best state in the nation. Even though the last 10 months have been trying, there is still much to be grateful for this Christmas season. I wish all of you a safe and Merry Christmas filled with cherished memories surrounded by loved ones.
Highlights from Gov. Herbert’s weekly COVID-19 briefing:
The Utah Department of Health announced that all university students will be tested within the first 10 days of returning to campus after the holiday break.
The Utah Department of Health will be extending the K-12 mask requirement and the public health order through January 21, 2021. The state-wide mask requirement will stay in place across all counties.
Gov. Herbert announced he will be removing restrictions on alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in bars and restaurants effective tomorrow.
Utah’s rolling seven-day average of new cases is 2,570, and the rolling seven-day percent positivity is 22.3 percent.
The Coronavirus dashboard now includes COVID-19 vaccine information. View the new data here.
COVID-19 announcements for K-12 schools:
Students who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will now not have to quarantine if both wore masks at the time of exposure. Data has proven that there is a low risk for transmission when both students wear masks. Students who do not wear masks will still need to abide by current quarantine protocols.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is recommending schools modify their COVID-19 case threshold. New case threshold recommendations for schools with a population of more than 1,500 is now one percent. The case threshold recommendation for schools with a population less than 1,500 is 15 cases. The UDOH also recommends that the classroom case threshold only apply to elementary schools.
Schools that reach the COVID-19 outbreak threshold will now have two options going forward. Schools can either move to all virtual learning for 10 calendar days, or follow Test to Stay protocols. These protocols include having all students and staff get tested for COVID-19. Those who test negative can continue in the classroom. Those who test positive or chose not to get tested will move to virtual learning. The Utah Department of Health will also offer targeted testing to schools and surrounding communities experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak after the holiday break.
As part of the Test to Stay program, every teacher who wants to be tested for COVID-19 can be tested weekly.
Watch the full briefing here.
On December 18, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. More information here.
Yesterday, MountainStar’s Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and started inoculating healthcare workers. Currently, 8,518 Utah healthcare workers have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more here.
Yesterday, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. Read the bill here.
Gov. Herbert released statements on the COVID-19 relief bill Congress passed, and the passage of the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act. Read his statements here.
The Utah Department of Heritage and Arts is hosting a statewide celebration of the 125th anniversary of Utah’s statehood with a TV special and simultaneous fireworks in all 29 counties. Learn more here.
Gov. Herbert unveiled the Utah compact on racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Read more here.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is in the final stages of installing fiber conduit systems in two rural Utah locations to increase internet connectivity, helping communities and enhancing mobility and safety on Utah’s highways. Legislators allocated $30 million of the CARES Act funding to UDOT to support the infrastructure to provide broadband connectivity to rural communities. More information here.
State Data (as of December 22nd)
Total Cases: 255,085
Total People Tested: 1,657,278
Total Hospitalizations: 10,218
Total Deaths: 1,173
Estimated Recovered: 182,744
Vaccines Administered: 8,518
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 62,260
Total Tested: 338,561
Estimated Recovered: 49,324
The graph below shows Utah’s ICU capacity from May 1 through December 16.
Additional 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. 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