Utah may be one of the country’s hot spots for COVID-19 right now, but Governor Spencer Cox said the Beehive State case numbers will at least stay stuck and aren’t “crazy” like they are in Idaho.
“There have been these waves that have occurred in different geographic regions of the country,” including in Idaho and other Pacific Northwest states, the governor said at a town hall meeting on Facebook Tuesday night.
But while Cox said Utah’s coronavirus cases seemed to be stalling at a rapid pace after slight dips, Idaho had “cases, just crazy cases, like double our high here in Utah,” and both Washington and Oregon have the same thing. reaches levels that put Utah on the hotspot map.
The governor’s comments come after Utah and other Mountain Western states — Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico — all average more than 50 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, according to data collected Tuesday by the Mayo Clinic.
Only a few other scattered states reached that level for COVID-19 cases. By Wednesday, only North Dakota, Minnesota and Alaska had reached the same goal as Utah and the other mountain states. Idaho, which had to ration health care due to the most recent surge, was 42 new cases per day per 100,000 residents.
The governor said he hears many theories from experts trying to figure out why Utah numbers are rising. So is the state’s young population, as vaccinations only became available to children aged 5-11 until last week. Utah’s larger households are also a factor, Cox said, because that’s where the virus really spreads.
And, the governor said, “part of it is just human behavior, again, to make sure we get more people vaccinated. That is the key to all of this.” Just over 55% of all Utahns are fully vaccinated, meaning it’s been two weeks or more since their last first shot.