UPDATED: Utah governor tests positive for COVID-19

File photo of Gov. Spencer Cox speaking during the ribbon-cutting event for the Cedar City Business and Innovation Center, Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Gov. Spencer Cox announced Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Update May 12, 3 p.m. Statement from Utah Department of Health and lastest Southern Utah COVID-19 statistics.

The governor began experiencing a scratchy throat late Wednesday night and tested Thursday morning, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office.

In accordance with health guidelines and in consultation with his physician, Cox plans to isolate for five days and wear a mask for 10 days.

“So far, I feel fine,” Gov. Cox said in the press release. “Like so many Utahns, I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, but COVID eventually touches us all. If you feel sick, please stay away from others. And if you haven’t yet, please get vaccinated.”

In this file photo, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during an interview at the Utah State Capitol Friday, March 4, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah | Associated Press file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

In a statement, the Utah Department of Health said that the omicron variants have had milder symptoms, especially for those who are vaccinated and boosted.

“This is a good reminder that the disease is still circulating in our communities. Most people who are infected with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, especially if they are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations,” the statement read. “Though almost 70% Utahns have received at least one dose of a vaccine, too many people have not finished their vaccine series and only 28% of Utahns have received a booster, meaning they do not have the best protection from COVID-19.”

In new statistics released by the department on Thursday, there was one death from COVID-19 in the entire state of Utah over the last week.

In Southern Utah, according to the Utah Department of Health, there have been no deaths in May from COVID-19 and seven hospitalizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control, all of Southern Utah’s five counties remain at a low COVID-19 Community Level as they have remained since March.

The governor had a number of public appearances Tuesday and Wednesday, though very few people attending those events would be considered to be exposed to the virus. The governor’s office is in the process of notifying the small number of people considered to be in close contact with the governor: people who were within 6 feet of him for 15 minutes or more.

Members of Utah’s first family are up-to-date on their vaccines and don’t need to quarantine, but they plan to wear masks for the next 10 days. None of them has tested positive for COVID-19.

Lowering of the flag

A news release issued just prior was also from the governor’s office stating that Cox authorized the lowering of the flag of the United States of America and the flag of the state of Utah on all state facilities in accordance with President Joe Biden’s proclamation honoring those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

Flags should be lowered to the half-staff position immediately and return to full-staff at sunset on Monday.

The president’s statement can be found here.

St. George News reporter Chris Reed contributed to this article.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!