Second COVID-19 death reported in Utah; 72 new cases since Thursday

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 27, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A second Utah death from COVID-19 was reported Friday afternoon by the department of health.

The new victim died in a hospital in the Salt Lake City area, Dr. Angela Dunn, State of Utah epidemiologist, said at a news conference on Friday.

Utah now has 480 documented cases of coronavirus, according to updated numbers. That’s a 19.4 percent increase from Thursday’s total of 402 cases. The reported number of people tested increased from 7,710 on Thursday to 9,244 on Friday.

Dunn also said that talks about putting the state of Utah under a stay-at-home order remain fluid, and that any announcement on that topic would come from Gov. Gary Herbert.

TriCounty Health reports case

In other news, the Vernal-based TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) announced its first case of COVID-19, which is in a Uintah man.

“TCHD believes this case is a result of community-acquired transmission with recent travel to the Wasatch Front,” a department statement says.

“While this is our first case, we do not anticipate it being our last. We are asking people not to panic but to remain vigilant regarding their personal hygiene, physical distancing, and staying home at the first sign of symptoms,” said  Dr. Karl Breitenbach, TriCounty Health Medical Advisor, in the prepared statement.

“Minimizing travel, even within our community, will lower the risk to yourself and others.”

The Uintah Basin patient is an adult male over the age of 18 and under the age of 60. The patient is not hospitalized and is currently recovering at home. Due to medical privacy laws, TCHD will not release further information about this case.

“When talking about community-acquired, we simply mean that through our investigation we are unable to link this case to any other confirmed positives,” TriCounty Health Officer, Jordan Mathis, said.

TCHD is currently notifying appropriate locations and individuals of potential exposure. TCHD is instructing those with potential exposure to this case to quarantine at home. Local public health employees will monitor those in quarantine for symptoms. Symptoms may include cough, fever over 100° F, or shortness of breath.

San Juan County case

San Juan County Public Health also reported its first documented COVID-19 case on Friday.

That patient is also a man, younger than age 65, according to the San Juan Public Health Department, Utah Navajo Health System and the Navajo Department of Health.

Additional information on the case was not released.

The case in San Juan County has not yet been added to the Utah Department of Public Health chart, below.

Image Utah Department of Public Health


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