UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 28, 2024

Opinion|Why Utah should be declared in a state of emergency

Only a few states have called for a State of Emergency due to Covid. Within the few, some are set to expire soon. Last updates seen: January 24, 2022. Graphic by Elissa Aguayo.

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Utah COVID-19 cases are at an all time high. The intensive care units are full. The schools are going remote. It’s time to declare Utah in a state of emergency.

A state of emergency can be declared upon the state of Utah. But, only if Governor Cox finds a disaster has occurred, if a threat is amongst any area of the state, or if the damage is severe enough that response and recovery assistance is required from state or government officials.

This is exactly what is happening in Utah right now. However, Utah state officials have still not declared a state of emergency.

According to The New York Times, in Dec. 2020, the daily average for positive COVID-19 cases in Utah was 2,306. As of Jan. 2022, the daily average for positive COVID-19 cases is 10,808. The COVID-19 case numbers have skyrocketed and instead of a mask mandate to help cases die down, Utah did the exact opposite.

On Jan. 21, during the 2022 legislative session, the bill S.J.R. 3 was passed. This bill terminated the 30-day mask mandate in Salt Lake County as well as any mask mandate anywhere in Utah. In addition, this signed bill terminates Utah schools from requiring a face covering, and it ties the hands of health officials who are doing everything they can to keep Utahns safe from COVID-19 without breaking any state laws.

I believe since Utah got rid of any mask enforcement the only solution is to call a statewide 5-day quarantine. If schools and universities did this for the first two weeks of school to minimize cases, why would it not be effective for the whole state?

The Utah state officials are ignoring the rise in cases and COVID-19 in general. They are more focused on passing bills that in no way help the COVID-19 battle.

COVID-19 testing sites have shut down, testing sites have run out of tests, and the lines to get tested are hours long. The governor told Utahns with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home for five days instead of getting tested because the demand was so high. It is clear that to the Utah state officials, this is not cause for a state of emergency.

At what point will the governor realize Utah is in a state of emergency even if it has not been officially declared. Stop letting your personal beliefs of masks not working affect the entire state of Utah, you don’t know what is best for everyone.