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Interview with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox About The Coronavirus Situation


All right let's go to the phone line lieutenant governor Spencer **** is on the phone Spencer **** how are you Sir I am well good morning morning lady hope you all are well so far we're fine yep doing well so let's talk coronavirus shall we let's suppose let's talk about the opening up of the the state it's a it's a calculated risk I suppose to go from orange to yellow and now I believe the only orange places laughter they Salt Lake City and magna and West Valley are they still in orange Spencer and a partition one county correct now so it's kind of a calculated risk going to the yellow phase how were how were you and the Utah department of health and the coronavirus task force monitoring all of we we have a we have a dashboard that updates every day were tied in with that with all the hospitals across the state and and we do we do watch it very closely see what to see which direction we're going Sir so there's two pieces for that one is of course directional are you moving up and up or down and into is the overall the the overall pressure that's being put on the on the system seven yeah what what is the best availability what it yeah I see you have a ability and to you you have to watch both of those you can't take either of them kind of in a in a vacuum the the good news is that our our resource availability is still extremely high as as high as any any weed out there we've got a very very good job of the not overwhelming our health care system we've been able to to bring in the supplies that we didn't have in March so that we are well well prepared if there is a spike of some sort or a surge in in case through them and hospitalization that and by the way that hospitalization is the more important piece in the case yeah right who's getting inspected and how it's impacting them it is a critical piece of this and so ads were re opening we were really also focusing and this was the update to the plan that came out last week he's a real emphasis on those that are at higher risk and how we protect them so we know that half or death in the state of calm in our long term care facilities into doing more to protect them of course anyone over the age of sixty five and then a real focus on our multicultural communities as well we we Filipino community they make up fifteen percent of the state but thirty percent of the hospitalizations that so we've got to focus more there are to protect people from up from this virus so we had a Memorial Day holiday and people feeling cooped up feeling anxious started socializing hands and socializing pretty close together in a lot of I'm sure you've seen the pictures of of people recreation at a pool I think it was in Utah county band and people at at parks and people were streaming to the canyons and hiking and and generally not observing social distancing very well can you comment comment on that and is there any way to control that sure sure I can comment and we you know that you guys said this before but the virus doesn't care how bored we are cooped up we are it is just looking for hosts to replicate and we're we're cautiously hopeful and V. experts we talked to there's so much we don't know about this virus we there there is some belief down some evidence of their innocence even Ali to what we do know that being outside is always better than being inside so if you're going to be close to people much better to be closer outside the main thing so so those are those are things we know but but we're still obviously very concerned if again especially about those in the high risk category and then people who might spread it to them a symptomatically and so we really we we just want to urge people to prevent backsliding we we really do need people to be careful to to maintain social difference wherever possible how to wear masks as matches as much as possible in public all of these things are going to allow us to have more normal in our lives than than last I mean it's the very thing said that though that we're doing that will will prevent us from having a normal fee that was that we wanted to just really strongly encourage people to to continue to be vigilant and make a note the social differences we're talking to the lieutenant governor of Utah Spencer **** so so what happens if in a week or two weeks from now went up people did get out and do a lot of socializing we start seeing some significant spikes how do you how difficult will that be to turn to turn things back down once it's at once people are out and socializing it seems like almost there be no stopping them can we do that well well certainly it's something that we're we're gonna have to watch very closely and that the whole purpose of what we built up to now is is this idea that we can be more surgical smoke we do see hot spots or outbreak we can actually go and attack those areas and and do it you know and and we can we can we have mobile testing now we we we have the ability to trace and and contact tracing with people who have been infected to work both forward and backward to figure out where they got it from and who who they have been in contact with and get those people quarantine and and certainly again the media messages are very helpful with it it's really interesting in retrospect if you go back and look at the data about social distancing and not social distancing he had less to do with government mandates and more to do with that kind of media coverage of the the virus and people making their own decision as to what we're really hopeful if that if that were protecting against those people who are the most vulnerable because we learn so much more about this disease now and who is who it impacts that the most and and that we're allowed to have but you again more normalcy while still protecting people and and and having the best of both worlds but that that that's a tricky line to navigate and and that everybody's doing the best they can right now Gina I have a question so I live in I live in an orange lemon salt lake city and I've heard from several people that their kids who were on soccer teams are baseball teams or things like that the reside in Salt Lake City those teams have started practicing in areas where where it's been relaxed a little bit they're going to bed on a full or going out to devote to Jordan's and practicing that like well they're they're looser out there so we can have a better practice out there if you can have them arrested is there a danger in people that live in an orange area going in behaving that way in a yellow area shouldn't shouldn't we if we live in Salt Lake City are are soccer players are in Salt Lake City you have to observe those rules there you can't go somewhere else and do that yeah there there's certainly a danger in that and again that the whole purpose of having a bit more localized system is two ways to be vigilant in areas where we do have outbreaks will reduce the higher rates of of incident and that is that there's two teams he said that one of course it is a physical piece for the other one is just that the kind of mental awareness piece that we we do need to be more vigilant we do need to be more careful and so that that is concerning we have left it up to the local health department a course they're the only ones that actually have the authority anyway Q. what to enforce those that those regulations and to to be in touch with people I'm still a lot of debate right now and a lot of fine being done on on children as doctors and and their ability to spread it to others and and so we're we're learning more about about that and if it is that you couldn't get your concern as was originally thought or not hopefully you know over the next few weeks will have even better information and we'll have better information about how it's spreading in Utah we do have the the surveillance what we'll call surveillance testing it it's basically randomized testing that's going on over ten thousand Utahns and we should start getting data back on that in the next week or two and so we're really anxious to see who had it already and where it's spreading right now and that will help us make even better decisions at the local level I things are really serious down on the and down on the Navajo in data nation and that doesn't count as part of our statistics it's a separate thing what is the is be part of the reservation is in Utah are we doing something to help the them yeah I checked we were doing more than than the other states and it's been a little bit of a source of contention but I mean in a positive way for us we we were we were the first to send out mobile units I'm down there to lead to increased testing capacity and and to help to help that did that the nation we've been working very closely with president knows who used to be that the vice the vice president of the Navajo Nation and my counterpart we have a long standing relationship we've also been sending our our National Guard resources we've got a we've been sending food and resources as well I'm a huge project here in the state that we're we're really proud of the farmers of Utah there's a there's a donation people can make and that they can donate money to the farmers to buy food from the farmers were struggling and deliver that food to the Navajo Nation just last week we took truckloads of of of land which is really important to that to the nation we're sending sheep down there as well and it's been a really really positive a relationship with the Navajo Nation Spencer **** always nice to hear from you keep us safe and healthy and the best to your family babby and your kids are doing well and we'll talk to you again soon thank you thanks guys keep up the good work

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