Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope all is well with you and your family. Utah continues to show improvements in COVID-19 case numbers and ICU capacity. Going forward, one of the best things we can do in our fight against COVID-19 is to have quick testing turnaround times. The Governor's Office of Management and Budget and the Utah Public Health Laboratory have been working on this issue and reduced the average turnaround time from 2.9 days to 1.1 days. Read more about their success here.
As we keep working to strengthen areas that need improvement, we should not ease up on our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. We need to continue following the CDC guidelines to social distance, wear a mask in public and wash our hands frequently.
COVID-19 patients are only using 9 percent of ICU beds in the state and only 2 percent of overall bed space. This is a great indicator that our healthcare system has the capacity to handle COVID-19 patients, and we are not in jeopardy of overwhelming the system. Additional hospital data can be found here.
State Data (as of August 30)
Total Cases: 51,854
Total People Tested: 655,507
Total Hospitalizations: 3,080
Total Deaths: 407
Estimated Recovered: 43,724
Utah County Dept Health
Total Cases: 11,001
Total Tested: 129,136
Estimated Recovered: 8,792
Lost Wages Assistance
On August 8, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum offering enhanced unemployment insurance benefits. Utah applied for these benefits on behalf of eligible Utahns. The Utah Department of Workforce Services put together a FAQ about the Lost Wages Assistance Program. Read it here.
Utah sent two National Guard Black Hawk helicopters and nine soldiers to help fight the fires in California. More information here.
The number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah was 5,628 for the week of August 16-22. Traditional unemployment insurance claims decreased 0.2 percent from the previous week to 2,999 claims. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims increased by 16.7 percent from the previous week to 957 claims. Pandemic Extended Unemployment Claims increased 11.7 percent from the last week to 1,672 claims. Read the report here.
COVID-19 Spanish Briefing
Last week, state and local leaders held a COVID-19 briefing in Spanish addressing back-to-school safety measures and discussing how to stop the disproportionate rise of COVID-19 in Latinx communities. Watch 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