Riverton mayor wants Utah to focus on coronavirus testing, not shelter in place orders

The mayor of Riverton thinks state and local leaders should shift their focus from stay-at-home orders to ramping up testing for COVID-19.

Much of the statewide focus on stopping the spread of the virus has been on directing Utahns to stay at home, which public health officials both locally and nationally maintain is essential to “flatten the curve” and stop virus cases from multiplying exponentially in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Trent Staggs told 2News he thinks there are “many other approaches” to stopping the spread of coronavirus through Salt Lake County.

KUTV

He supports social distancing, and the sick and vulnerable remaining at home, but said Utah should focus on testing dramatically more people for the virus. He made note of what he calls a lack of testing in a recent op-ed.

“What I think you need to balance, and the point of my recent article, was that the economy equals people and equals lives, too,” Staggs told 2News.

Staggs says the state should immediately start spending emergency money to test as many people as possible for COVID-19.

Riverton mayor wants Utah to focus on coronavirus testing, not shelter in place orders (Photo: KUTV FILE)

Why does he think that will help?

The mayor says Utah should take a lesson from South Korea, where a testing bonanza is credited with helping to contain the coronavirus. Staggs said:

“With that increase in testing data — being able to identify those who are testing positive, that are impacted — I think, ultimately, it’s going to end up saving lives and help with economic health and have businesses remain open.”

Staggs told 2News he thinks at least one Utah company can make more tests in one day than the number of tests conducted so far in the state over the past two weeks.

That number, on Friday, was at least 9,000. By Sunday, nearly 14,000 Utahns had been tested for the virus.

Read More: https://kutv.com/news/local/riverton-mayor-wants-utah-to-focus-on-coronavirus-testing-not-shelter-in-place-orders

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