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Kristin Murphy, KSL file

Utah sees 394 new COVID-19 cases, 5 new deaths as mayors urge governor to mandate masks

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 23, 2020 at 1:38 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 23, 2020 at 1:03 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 394 from Monday, with five new reported deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Tuesday's totals give Utah 18,300 total confirmed cases, with 1,226 total hospitalizations and 163 total deaths from the disease. Previously, there were 17,906 total cases in the state.

The new numbers indicate a 2.2% increase in positive cases since Monday. Of the 302,276 tests conducted in Utah so far, 6.1% were positive for COVID-19. There were 2,964 tests conducted between Monday and Tuesday.

The health department estimates there are now 8,080 active cases of the disease in Utah. The estimated number of recoveries has surpassed quintuple digits for the first time, with 10,057 estimated recoveries reported Tuesday. Anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago who has not died is considered recovered.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall on Tuesday urged Gov. Gary Herbert to mandate the wearing of masks in public places as the statewide spike of COVID-19 cases continues in Utah.

"Governor, required face coverings in public will go a long way. Let’s do that," Wilson said in a tweet addressed to Herbert on Tuesday morning.

Mendenhall added her support of mandatory masks in public.

"Requiring (masks) be worn in public statewide could help us turn the tide and save lives," she tweeted Tuesday.

Herbert has repeatedly indicated he does not want to mandate wearing masks in public statewide. He also said he has no plans to revert the state back to stricter social distancing regulations.

In tweets Monday evening, Herbert said he shares many concerns that the health department's state epidemiologist, Dr. Angela Dunn, outlined in a memo to health department leaders last week.

"I appreciate her analysis and share many of her concerns," Herbert said. "We will work to stem this tide, but I have no plans to shut down Utah’s economy."

In a follow-up tweet, he again urged Utahns to wear masks, follow social distancing recommendations and practice good hand hygiene.

Three of the deaths reported Tuesday were men from Salt Lake County. One was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a long-term care facility resident. The second was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died. The third was between the ages of 65 and 84, and it is not known if he was hospitalized or a long-term care facility resident.

The fourth reported death was a Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84. The fifth death was a Weber County man who was older than 85. Both the men from Utah and Weber counties were long-term care facility residents, the health department reports.

The total number of cases reported by the health department includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah’s outbreak began, including those who are infected now, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died.

There were 34 more people hospitalized with COVID-19 between Monday and Tuesday, and there are currently 166 people hospitalized with the disease in Utah, the health department reports.

There is no COVID-19 press conference scheduled for Tuesday. Utah officials provide updates once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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