What you need to know about Utah’s new ‘Steady State’ COVID-19 response

Tags: COVID-19

Last week, we announced it was time for Utah’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to evolve to better match where we find ourselves.

By March 31, our response will transition to what we call a “stable state.” Some elements of the response will become the responsibility of our highly competent health care systems. This will allow our public health system to refocus on things that a public health system would normally deal with, such as disease surveillance, data collection and reporting, vaccinations, and public education. If we see a new surge, we will maintain the teams and contracts that allow for a rapid recovery if necessary.

Here’s what that means for you.

COVID-19 Testing in Utah

Testing sites across the state will close as we move from community sites to health care facilities, private providers — for events and travel — and home testing.

We always recommend that certain people get tested, including older people with high-risk conditions, vulnerable populations and those who work with them, and those who often visit vulnerable people. These Utahns should get tested through their health care provider.

Health care and treatment for COVID-19 in Utah

Like testing, health care and treatment will be further integrated into the health care system. Monoclonal antibody treatments are available in hospitals and emergency care across the state. Health care providers across the state are now able to prescribe oral antivirals.

State contracts for COVID-positive EHPADs are coming to an end and we are demobilizing UDOH treatment sites. Public health will, however, continue to support the referral of vulnerable populations to care.

Utah COVID-19 Data Reports

Utah will continue to provide public information, but less frequently. We will reduce the dashboard update frequency from daily to weekly.

We know it’s not over and we’ll continue to monitor the data closely, tracking sewage, clinic and emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths. We are also keeping an eye out for new variants or any increase in cases and will speed up if necessary.

COVID-19 Vaccines in Utah

Vaccines have been and will be the surest way out of the pandemic. This administration is dedicated to getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

This includes vaccinations for children under five as soon as they are authorized. We have made great strides in preparing for this: at least 79% of health care providers in the state who participate in the Vaccines for Children program are also now registered to administer COVID vaccines. We will continue to work with the remaining 21% of providers to convince them to also offer COVID vaccines to their patients.

We know that vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Please help our community by getting vaccinated today!

Moving forward

This is not the “end” of the pandemic. We always keep an eye on the future and are ready to go back up if necessary. But we have made great strides in the fight against the pandemic:

Over the past two years, we have

  • announced more than 917,000 additional cases.
  • processed over 9.1 million tests.
  • administered over 4.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • closed schools and reopened them safely.

All key indicators are moving in the right direction. Vaccines are widely available and hopefully soon everyone over the age of six months will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Treatments are more widely available and supplies are improving every week. Testing is available from the comfort of your own home! Hospitals and intensive care units – and the healthcare workers who employ them – are still at high levels as they lag behind other indicators, but they too are finally starting to see some relief.

As always, you can find coronavirus information at coronavirus.utah.gov and health.utah.gov.

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About Joyce Hill

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