Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, leaves a meeting with media at the Capitol in Salt Lake City, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
It’s been three years since a virus that originated 6,873 miles from here significantly altered life as we knew it. Almost overnight, phrases like social distancing, shelter in place, contact tracing, distance learning, herd immunity and who says I have to wear a mask? entered our vocabulary.
Looking back, how did Utah fare handling the pandemic? I asked that question of three people who were on the COVID-19 front lines. Granted, they’re all biased, since all live in Utah, but to a person they give the state good marks compared to the rest of America, albeit with a few caveats.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that the most boosterish is a politician.
“No one else did as well as we did,” said Stuart Adams, president of the Utah Senate.
And he has statistics to back it up.
“In every analysis of what was done, taking into account the three key factors of mortality rate, the economy and education, Utah has come out on top,” the senator noted.
He cites several studies, including one by the University of Illinois and another by the National Bureau of Economic Research, that bear this out. Utah’s per capita mortality rate, at 1,649 deaths per one million population (a percentage of .004), is third lowest in the country, barely behind Hawaii and Vermont. Our economy was the fourth quickest to recover, behind only Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. And our schools were fifth quickest to reopen, behind Wyoming, Arkansas, Florida and South Dakota.
Combine the three categories and Utah rates No. 1.
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News