Gov. Herbert looks back at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

In this file photo, Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at a news conference in the state's Emergency Operations Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, March 12, 2020 addressing the current state of COVID-19 in Utah. | Photo by Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — It has been nearly a year since former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert first issued his first recommendations that gatherings be limited and restaurants limit customers as the COVID-19 pandemic began in Utah.

File photo of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert addressing all Utahns ordering a statewide mask mandate and prohibiting social gatherings in households. Nov. 8, 2020. | Photo courtesy of Utah Governor’s Office, St. George News

Herbert spoke with FOX13Now, reflecting on those moments.

“It was new, so we did not know. We had threats of epidemics and pandemics in the past… that had fizzled out,” he said. “So we didn’t know what to expect. We tried to do everything we could to keep it in control.”

One of the things emphasized early on by his administration was the preparedness and planning surrounding Utah’s hospital and healthcare systems, something that would be put to test later on March 6, 2020.

“A few hours later, we found out that the first positive case in Utah had been identified,” recalled Joe Dougherty, a spokesman with the

Through it all, Herbert says that this was the toughest year for Utahns and others around the world.

“It’s across the board the most dramatic thing I think that has happened in all of our lifetimes… short of war,” he said.

But he says that it ultimately made him realize how incredible and resilient the people of the state are.

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Copyright 2019, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station

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