Utah breaks daily record for COVID-19 cases as Thanksgiving holiday approaches

A record 4,588 people Utahans were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday. 17 Utahans died from COVID-19 on the same day — one of the state’s highest daily death counts so far. Utah’s daily death rate has risen 42.9% in the past week.

The state’s daily cases have been quickly rising since the beginning of November. Friday’s record occurred shortly after Gov. Herbert said he would lift restrictions on home gatherings for Thanksgiving. 

 

On Oct. 22nd, Herbert announced emergency health measures in response to record COVID outbreaks. These included a mask mandate and a one-household requirement for gatherings. He faced criticism from fellow state Republicans who disapproved of the restrictive measures. His recent remarks indicate this criticism might have worked.

At the Governor’s monthly news conference on Thursday, Herbert explained that he is revising gathering restrictions prior to Thanksgiving.

“We’re going to make some modifications to our order when it comes to those who can gather in households,” he announced. “But at the same time, with that modification we are going to give you some good guidance and good counsel of what you should be doing to minimize the risk of yourself and your family when it comes to catching and spreading the COVID-19 virus.”

Herbert stressed that it is still important to social distance and wear a mask if you do plan on attending a gathering.

The CDC advises that it is safest to hold gatherings virtually rather than traveling and congregating in large groups. Even small gatherings can potentially be dangerous. Allowing excessive congregation during the upcoming holiday will do little to slow the state’s continual rise in cases.