State Of Emergency Declared In US’ Utah Due To Surge In Coronavirus Cases

Washington: Due to an unabated surge in the number of new coronavirus cases, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has declared a two-week emergency in the US state.

In an effort to stem the spread of the virus, Herbert has declared a series of measures, including limiting casual social gatherings to household-only; putting all athletic and intramural events on hold; and a state-wide mask mandate in public where six feet of physical distancing is not possible, reports Xinhua news agency.

Herbert, who has supported wearing masks but had resisted imposing a mandate before, said in a video posted on Twitter on Monday that the state cannot afford to debate this issue any longer.

“Individual freedom is certainly important, and it is our rule of law that protects that freedom.

“We must do more, and we must do it now. This is about much more than just mandates. This is about personal responsibility.

“Due to the alarming rate of Covid-19 infections within our state, tonight I issued a new state of emergency with several critical changes to our response.

“These changes are not shutting down our economy, but are absolutely necessary to save lives and hospital capacity,” he added in the video.

According to Monday’s report by local KSL-TV, the state experienced a 46 per cent increase in new cases in the last two weeks.

On Sunday, the pandemic hit a record-high seven-day positive test average of 20.6 per cent cases per day.

Meanwhile, the state also reported a new high of 424 hospitalizations on Sunday, bringing the state’s ICU occupancy to a record-high 78.2 per cent.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Utah has registered more than 135,000 confirmed cases and 661 deaths.

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