Utah state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn sounded the alarm on Friday about Utah’s skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases, saying policymakers need to do more to balance public and economic health in the state.
Utah reported another daily record-high number of cases on Friday with 676 infections. It’s the second time in a week Utah set a record number of cases.
Dunn, appearing on CNN, said it’s clear the state needs to do something different in combating the virus.
“We’re working with other medical experts across the state to impose upon our policymakers and decision-makers that the time is now to start really looking hard at making decisions to limit the spread of Covid-19, protect the health of individuals while also ensuring our economic health so that we don’t have to do a shutdown to protect lives,” she said.
Dunn made waves earlier this week when a memo she authored warning state leaders reimposing restrictions may be necessary unless there’s a dramatic decline in the number of cases by next week. Gov. Gary Herbert responded saying he would not shut down Utah’s economy again.
On Thursday, Gov. Herbert granted requests from Salt Lake and Summit Counties to mandate the wearing of face masks in public. Dunn acknowledged there’s a lot of political tension surrounding the wearing of masks, but it’s a necessary step to slow the spread.
“We’re trying to strike that balance between having people understand that they should want to wear a mask to protect their community and their loved ones versus forcing them to do that, because ultimately enforcement of any of those laws is tough. We want to get the public on the same page as us,” she said.