Utah Governor Spencer Cox received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. The Governor also said he expects health restrictions to be largely lifted by July 1st.
Governor Cox and First Lady, Abby Cox, both received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at a mass vaccination center in Spanish Fork on Thursday morning.
Cox said he and his wife did have the opportunity to receive vaccinations earlier in the year, but chose to turn them down to prioritize vaccinations for other, more vulnerable Utahns. Both Governor Cox and his wife are in their 40s, all Utahns 16 and older became eligible for the vaccine on Wednesday.
After the shot, Cox said he didn’t feel a thing.
“This is awesome,” he said. “Honestly, didn’t feel it at all. If you’re worried about shots, this is an easy one.
With vaccinations expected to ramp up in the coming weeks and infections largely trending in the right direction since the new year, Cox said he expects COVID-19 health restrictions on gatherings and events to be lifted by July 1st.
“Given the trajectory that we’re on right now, and that could all change, but given the trajectory that we’re on right now, we anticipate that those health restrictions will all be gone before July 1st,” said Cox. “Certainly, with the amount of vaccines that we’re getting in, the rate of vaccinations, and the decline in case counts, we’re on pace for that, we’re very hopeful.”
The statewide mask mandate is scheduled to end on April 10th, but cities and counties have the ability to keep mask requirements in place if they choose to do so.
The Governor also announced that funeral assistance to families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 will become available through FEMA next month. More details are expected to be released in the next week.
The Utah Department of Health reported 527 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, beginning the rolling seven-day average of positive tests to 419 per day.
Summit County reported 15 new cases. Wasatch County reported seven.
Statewide averages for the percent of positive laboratory tests dropped slightly, with the people-over-people average now at 7.6% and the tests-over-tests average 3.8%.
There are currently 134 Utahns hospitalized with the disease, an increase of seven from yesterday. Statewide COVID-19 referral center ICUs are now 72.6% full.
Seven additional deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll from the disease to 2,088. None of Thursday’s deaths were from either Summit or Wasatch Counties.
Over 26,000 vaccines were administered over the last 24 hours. Over 1.2 million doses have been administered in Utah so far.