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Utah healthcare providers discuss spike in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 11:09 AM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 21:48:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Representatives of Utah's major healthcare providers met virtually Friday to discuss their plans for dealing with the spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Viruses do not respect city boundaries… They do not respect house boundaries… They really will infect all of us and impact all of us, so we need everybody’s help,” said Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare.

The group comprised of Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, MountainStar Healthcare and Steward Health Care all stressed the importance of wearing a mask.

Watch the above story for a recap or watch the full news conference below.

The group at points challenged Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's lack of a full state mask mandate.

“We’re encouraged by the governor's mandate for Utah public schools and students," Intermountain chief physician executive Dr. Mark Briesacher said. "This same requirement and protection is something that everyone in Utah and across the Intermountain West deserves."

Also of concern were hospitals' bed space, lack of healthcare workers if surge capacity is reached, and cutting through the politics of this issue.

“It’s just such a simple thing to us in the medical profession," Steward Health Care chief medical officer Dr. Arlen Jarrett said. "It’s hard for us to understand how it’s become so political.”

The plea is that all Utahns wear face masks and that hopefully we don’t have to see another day with COVID-19 numbers like Friday's record breaking case count.