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Utah sent every phone on an emergency alert about the rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases



“State of Utah: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Case records. Almost every county is a highly contagious area. Hospitals are almost overcrowded,” read the warning. “Under public health orders, masks are required in highly contagious areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.”

“Be careful!” it warns, along with a link containing more information about the worsening coronavirus increase.

Messages sent start at 2pm on Friday and remain active for 15 minutes.

Often used for inclement weather and AMBER Alerts, state and local officials are increasingly implementing these Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) to warn of Covid-19 spikes. . In late September, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), local officials sent the public more than 400 such warnings.

Usually, they are targeted to one city; New Yorkers have received a few. But Utah seemed to be the first time a WEA was sent to an entire state. Officials explained in a newsletter that the “dire situation”
; had caused them to try a rigorous approach.

“Despite the ongoing pandemic, there are some who are not aware of the dire situation we are facing,” state officials said. “Emergency warnings are therefore an attempt to” ensure that nearly everyone is aware of the severity of the pandemic. ”

Warning comes when the status reaches a milestone, when Utah hit a record high in several Covid-19 measures, including the number of new cases, 7-day average and percentage positive test, panel state data showed.

During a press conference on Thursday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert called the state situation “one of the worst outbreaks in the country.”

The state reported a new 2,281 new Covid-19 case record on Friday, according to state data. Before that, its record high was 1,989 cases on October 22nd. Furthermore, its 7-day average now hits a record 1,621.7 cases and the rate of positive tests is at a record 18.17% on Friday. All of these barometers are steadily increasing.

Meanwhile, 72.5% of Utah’s ICU beds are already filled, along with 54% of its traditional beds, according to the state dashboard, meaning hospitals are rapidly running out of space for patients. new.

All of this happened as the United States hit a record 9 million Covid-19 infections, a number that experts warn will continue to increase.

CNN’s Jenn Selva contributed to this report.


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