Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The last few months have been quite a challenge for our state, nation and world. Utahns have been asked to disrupt their lives to slow the spread of this virus in order to avoid hospitals becoming overwhelmed. The state has been successful in this effort as hospital capacity has remained stable throughout the health crisis.
Hospital bed utilization rates are a primary indicator of the strain on the state’s healthcare capacity. As of June 2, ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in Utah have not exceeded 11 percent of total capacity for the last two weeks, indicating the state can begin to safely transition to the green phase of the Utah Leads Together plan in the coming weeks.
Two additional key data factors include the transmission rate and the spread rate.
A transmission rate at or near 1:1 for 7-14 consecutive days indicates an adequate level of stability. As of June 2, the transmission rate in Utah has been below 1.2 for 22 consecutive days.
As of June 2, spread from known contacts has been at 81 percent for the past two weeks, and 58 percent of known contacts were exposed through a household member. Spread from known contacts remaining above 60 percent, and ideally above 85 percent, is an indicator of stability and low levels of community spread.
State Data (as of June 9th)
Total Cases: 12,559
Total People Tested: 246,860
Total Hospitalizations: 931
Total Deaths: 127
Estimated Recovered: 7,391
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 2337
Estimated Recovered: 1504
Though data indicates parts of Utah can begin to shift to green safely, it does not imply that case numbers are expected to remain low. As more Utahns leave their homes and gather with family and friends, COVID-19 is bound to spread. However, the number of cases has proven to be a poor indicator of health risk for all Utahns since 99 percent of individuals who contract COVID-19 recover. However, as long as Utah hospitals remain stable, together we can continue to protect the vulnerable and open our economy.
While most of our state is currently in the yellow phase, it is important to note that when our state transitions to the green phase, it does not mean business as usual. Green is a lighter risk level, but it is not a return to normal. Utahns still need to take precautions, including social distancing and wearing a mask in public to protect high-risk populations.
While data is indicating Utah can begin transitioning to a lower risk level responsibly, it does not apply to everyone. Those in the high-risk categories should continue to take precautions and exercise all possible caution. Together, we can protect the vulnerable while transitioning.
Individuals who are uninsured may be eligible to receive coverage for COVID-19 testing and other related services. You can find more information here.
The Utah System of Higher Education COVID-19 Higher Education Task Force released a plan outlining a path for Utah public colleges and universities to resume onsite operations for the fall 2020 semester. Learn more here.
While Utah’s COVID-19’s hospitalization rate has remained steady the past few weeks, there has been an increased spread of the virus over the past week. To help slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to take the following actions:
Avoid close contact with others in public and wear a face covering.
Stay home if you have any signs of illness.
Contact your provider if you have any symptoms to see if you can get a COVID-19 test.
In the News
With the current challenges the United States faces, it is a time for Utah to step up and lead by example. I pray our state and nation will come together at this time instead of becoming more divided.
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