Gov. Herbert issues new emergency declaration

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks to staffers before conducting his monthly news conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.

SALT LAKE CITY – In order to continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he is issuing a new emergency declaration, effective when the one issued in early March expires at midnight Thursday.

He made the announcement at his monthly press briefing, in light of the news that legislators had declined to extend the current state of emergency.

He said he does not want to risk losing funds that won’t be available without the declaration in place.

At the top of that list is the funding for national guardsmen, who have been doing a lot of work and testing, contacting and tracing of those who have the virus,” Herbert said. “That’s a $13-14 million bill that the federal government is helping us to pay under the current state of emergency declaration. But other monies from FEMA, monies that will be used by our health department, monies for our workforce services requesting money, $445 million on lost wages assistance.”

Gov. Gary Herbert is seen on television equipment during his monthly news conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.

The state reported 461 new coronavirus cases Thursday during a period of time when 5,442 Utahns were tested.

Also Thursday, the Utah Department of Health noted again hospitalizations have remained relatively low. There are 139 COVID patients currently in Utah hospitals. Total hospitalizations from the start of the outbreak now total 2,853.

The Bear River Health Department reported 15 new positive cases Thursday, 12 in Cache County and three in Box Elder County.

There have been 2,433 positive tests recorded in the Bear River district with 2005 in Cache County and 417 in Box Elder County plus 11 in Rich County.

Also, among the total 2,433 positive cases in the Bear River District, 2,104 are termed recovered.

There are four COVID patients from the district currently hospitalized, all from Cache County.

There have been 47,982 positive tests in Utah since the outbreak in March. The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 364 a day while the rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is 8.8 percent.

There have been 381 COVID-19 deaths in Utah, an increase of four in the last 24 hours.

Among the 47,982 positive tests for the disease in Utah since the start of the pandemic, 39,364 are considered recovered.

As of Thursday 615,804 Utahns have been tested for the disease since the outbreak.

In the latest Idaho update there are 28,696 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There have been 291 COVID deaths in the state with 53 positive tests in Franklin County, 25 positives in Bear Lake County and 18 in Oneida County.

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  • AP August 21, 2020 at 3:32 pm Reply

    TV interview with doctor on COVID frontline in Madrid Spain.

    • Deedee August 22, 2020 at 6:46 am Reply

      Great interview in your link. Doctor calling it how it is. Let’s stop the panic and enjoy life.

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