Meg Lee administers a COVID-19 test at the Maverik Center parking lot in West Valley City on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Utah reported nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a crushing number that puts a fine point on Gov. Gary Herbert’s statewide mask mandate issued Sunday.

“We are at the breaking point and ready to have some serious repercussions,” Herbert said in a press conference.

Those serious repercussions include the possibility of shutting down restaurants and other business, and prohibiting gatherings for the coming holidays, according to national officials. They’re watching Utah closely, and what they see is a populace that has not kept the spread of the virus under control.

At the very least, it’s embarrassing. A state known for its volunteerism and social conservatism — the notion of looking out for one another by adhering to virtuous principles — shouldn’t be in this position.

But embarrassment pales in comparison to the real threats to life the virus poses. Death isn’t the only outcome; lingering symptoms and abnormal functions plague some survivors even weeks after testing negative.

This is not the time to let up and push back, as some cohorts of anti-mask protesters have …read more


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