How Utah plans to bring COVID-19 shots ‘to the people’ by providing groups with mobile clinics

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Governor says state trying to eliminate excuses for not getting vaccinated

Utah is taking the fight against COVID-19 “to the people,” Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday, with businesses, community groups, churches and other organizations now able to request a free mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic show up to give shots on site.

“We want to make it as easy as possible. We want to take away any excuses for not being able to get the vaccine,” the governor said during his weekly update on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus, held virtually from the state Capitol in Salt Lake City. “We hope this will really jump-start a new wave of demand.”

Cox said the state is setting aside about 25,000 first vaccine doses out of next week’s allotment from the federal government for the new program, about one-third of the supply. He urged interested organizations to sign up through the state’s COVID-19 website, coronavirus.utah.gov, and to be patient.

Utah is “past the point” of where vaccine supply is starting to outweigh demand, the governor said. More than 900,000 Utahns, including Cox, are now fully vaccinated, meaning it’s been at least two weeks since their final dose.

“It’s OK to act like it’s a good thing,” he said, urging the fully vaccinated to enjoy their new status by spending time with friends and family and doing things they might not have been able to do during the pandemic that began more than a year ago.

The governor ended the news conference by suggesting Utahns should take their masks off and head outside.

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Vaccines are becoming more easily accessible, especially in less-populated portions of Utah where demand is dropping faster than urban areas, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said. She said some are already offering walk-up vaccinations or providing doses directly to doctors, and the rest of the state will follow.

Salt Lake County said Thursday COVID-19 vaccinations will be available without an appointment at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Some 20,000 vaccine doses are available at the center and the Maverik Center in West Valley City.

Utah’s latest COVID-19 numbers

The Utah Department of Health reported 463 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and seven additional deaths from the virus that all occurred before April 1. The state has seen 396,985 cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

There have been a total of 2,124,832 vaccine doses administered in Utah, a daily increase of 26,895.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 380 per day, and 6,402 additional Utahns have taken a test for the virus since Wednesday, with a total of 16,041 tests recorded in the past day. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of COVID-19 tests in Utah is 3.5% when all results are included and 6.5% when results from multiple tests by an individual are excluded.

Currently, 142 people are hospitalized in Utah with the virus and total hospitalizations in the state have reached 16,158.

Utah’s death toll is 2,197, including …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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