Utah Continues to Shatter Pandemic Records as Some Citizens Oppose Mask Mandates

used 11/3

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department reported 109 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,741. Five of those new cases were reported in Iron County, leaving the area in the moderate transmission level. Washington County remains in the high transmission level with 100 new cases.

Despite growing numbers, some southern Utah residents appear to question mask mandates and other health guidelines. A group of 30-40 people gathered in front of the SWUPHD Monday afternoon to protest county health guidelines related to COVID-19 and demand answers from authorities, St. George News reported.

The protesters were addressed by David Blodgett, the director of the health department. He answered questions from the crowd, saying none of the local mask mandates come from the state health department. 

Utah continues to see a rapid increase in outbreaks of COVID-19, with 1,669 new diagnoses reported statewide Tuesday. Hospitalizations blew past previous record highs as well, with 366 Utahns currently hospitalized for the coronavirus.

In addition to the record breaking number of cases, six new Utah deaths were reported. These were a Utah County man, aged 65 to 84, a Utah County woman, aged 45 to 64, a Sanpete County woman, aged 45 to 64, two Salt Lake County men, aged 65 to 84, and a Tooele County woman, aged 65 to 84.

The Utah Department of Health reported that the state has averaged 1,726 new positive test results a day for the past week, another new record high.

For the past week, 19.1% of all tests have come back positive. The area under the jurisdiction of the SWUPHD reported a slightly lower rate, with an 18.9% positive testing rate from Oct. 19-28.

Story by: Larissa Beatty