Sanpete County raised to
high risk COVID status
By Robert Stevens
Sanpete County has been designated a high risk area for COVID-19, and that means that a mask mandate and restrictions on social gatherings will be extended permanently.
Restrictions under Gov. Gary Herbert’s new pandemic directive were set to expire on Thursday, Oct. 29.
But Sanpete County’s transmission index rose from moderate to high last Thursday, meaning masks are required to be worn in public indoor settings and outdoor areas where social distancing is not manageable. It also means casual social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people.
Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, has made multiple announcements of Utah breaking its highest daily case rate record over the two weeks since the new directive went in place. More than 1 million Utahns have been tested for the new coronavirus and now more than 100,000 Utahns have contracted it—574 of whom have died, as of Tuesday.
“Describe it how you want, we are just asking to do the right things for the right reasons.” Gov. Herbert said. “It’s not a cure-all, but it’s a way to help slow the trend. I don’t expect to see police out there issuing citations, but I just want people to do the right things.”
Until Sanpete County drops back down to moderate, the restrictions will stay in place, said the governor’s office. The data that is used to designate a county with low, moderate or high transmission index is looked at every week, but an area cannot go down a step unless they have been in their current level for at least two weeks.
As of Tuesday, Sanpete County has a total of 407 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 125 of which are currently active. There are two recorded COVID deaths in Sanpete County and two current hospitalizations.
Like Sanpete, several of the other counties within the Central Utah Public Health District (CUPHD) have risen in the transmission index from moderate to high.
Juab County has 259 total cases of COVID confirmed, 76 of which are active, but two new COVID-related deaths have happened there since last week. There have been five confirmed COVID deaths in Millard, and one current hospitalization.
Sevier County has 285 confirmed cases of COVID, 108 are active as of Tuesday. Sevier has had one confirmed COVID death and two current hospitalizations.
Millard County currently has 266 confirmed COVID cases, 46 of which are active. Millard currently has one hospitalization and no recorded COVID deaths.
Piute and Wayne County make up two of only five total counties in Utah that have the low risk designation on the transmission index. Low risk counties have no mask mandate but masks are still strongly recommended. Piute currently has 29 confirmed cases, 10 of which are active. Wayne currently has 18 confirmed cases, nine of which are active.
The CUPHD has a total of 1264 confirmed COVID-19 cases after testing 22,534 people. There have been eight COVID-related deaths and 68 total hospitalizations in the CUPHD.