Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson speaks to the media during the last weekly COVID-19 briefing at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Briefings will now move to every other week.

Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, speaking Thursday during the state’s COVID-19 media briefing, was asked if there is a concern that the message from the state is that things are back to normal, when they aren’t.

“Our message has never been that things are back to normal,” Henderson explained. “Our message is that we want things to be able to get back to normal. And we are better, we are doing better than we were.

“The purpose of all the restrictions was to make sure that people who didn’t have the tools necessary to keep themselves from becoming sick, and infecting others; we were able to protect people. And now we have those tools available and we need people to use those tools.”

Another reporter asked Dr. Michelle Hofmann, Utah Department of Health deputy director, if there is a concern for a new surge after Memorial Day, as more folks are going unmasked.

“The important point about this is that we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past; we’ve already been through all of this,” Dr. Hoffman added. “We know we experienced surges, after holidays. We know we experienced a fall surge when we went back to school. We do not want to repeat these mistakes. That means we need to mask, to continue to mask until vaccination.”

Utah’s list of COVID deaths grew to 2,319 Thursday according to the Utah Department of Health report. There was one coronavirus death.

There were 313 new coronavirus cases in Utah since Wednesday including 11 in the Bear River Health District.

There have been 9,182 vaccine doses administered statewide in Utah since Wednesday, and total doses administered during the pandemic has reached almost 2.68 million. The state health department reports 1.271 million in Utah have been fully vaccinated and 1.521 million have received at least one dose.

More than 48 percent of all adults in northern Utah have been immunized as of Wednesday (62,638 people). A total of 138,429 doses have been administered in the Bear River Health District.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests has increased the last 24 hours to 276  per day, the highest in three weeks. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “people over people” is 6.6 percent and the rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” is still 4.3 percent.

Idaho’s latest report shows  2,116 coronavirus deaths with 193,295 confirmed COVID-19 cases. In the three southeast Idaho counties case counts include 1,206 positive cases in Franklin County, 392 in Bear Lake County and 362 in Oneida County.

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