Update: Bear River Health District sees first case of COVID-19

Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UTAH, March 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Bear River Health District has its first case of COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

A total of 41 Utah residents and 10 visitors have now tested positive for the virus, officials said.

As updated Tuesday, that is 12 new cases in residents. The other new resident cases are  four in Salt Lake County, four in Summit County, two in Wasatch County, and one in Weber-Morgan, as well as the Bear River case. Numbers will be updated daily at around 12:45 here.

The resident total now includes 20 cases in Salt Lake County, eight in Summit County, four in Davis County, four in the Weber-Morgan health district, two in Wasatch County, one in Bear River, one in southwest Utah and one in Tooele County.

The first case of community spread was identified Saturday when a Summit County resident tested positive. The man worked as a doorman at the Spur Bar & Grill in Park City and has not traveled or had known contact with anybody infected with COVID-19.

In total, 10 non-Utah residents have tested positive in the state; seven in Summit County, two in Salt Lake County and one in Utah County.

The Bear River Health Department said in a news release Tuesday: “The department announced today that we have our first confirmed case of COVID-19. The details of this case are still being investigated but do appear to be the result of exposure to a known case in Salt Lake County.

“The case is an adult between the ages of 18-60 years who is hospitalized. Due to medical privacy laws, BRHD will not release further information about the confirmed case.”

The patient’s family has been asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms throughout that time. Symptoms include cough, fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and shortness of breath, the news release said.

Quarantine at home means not leaving the home for any reason, except when advised by their health care provider to seek medical care in person. Those in quarantine are told not to go to work, school, or any public place including stores, malls, theaters, restaurants or any other retail establishment. They should also not visit family or friends or have any visitor at home.

“We would like to remind the community that most people with COVID-19 experience only mild illness but as a community, we must slow the spread of this disease,” said Lloyd Berentzen, director of the BRHD.

“I urge the public to please practice social distancing. Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people. If you are sick, stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow and disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible. We are confident that with your help, we will get through this difficult public health emergency.”

In other developments, many health systems are asking people to reschedule non-essential medical visits and call before visiting a walk-in clinic to allow medical staff to focus on the COVID-19 crisis. This is particularly important if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 because of the importance of protecting others from exposure.

Utah’s public schools have canceled all classes and closed their buildings to most activities to slow the spread.

The Utah System of Higher Education has canceled all in-person classes on college and university campuses. Wherever possible, classes will be conducted online. Westminster College and Brigham Young University, both private schools, have also moved classes online.

Salt Lake County is prohibiting dine-in food service at restaurants and bars; Summit County issued a similar prohibition Sunday. Take-out, delivery and grocery shopping is still permitted but with tighter rules.

Sunday evening, 23 passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in Oakland last week returned to Utah. None of the passengers who returned have any symptoms of COVID-19 and have either tested negative or are waiting for test results. Monday evening, four more passengers returned to the state.

Most Utah ski resorts have suspended or closed operations.

Many local governments have closed public buildings, including recreation centers, libraries, and senior centers. Utah’s Hogle Zoo and Tracy Aviary have closed, as have Hill Aerospace Museum and Thanksgiving Point.

State officials are encouraging everyone to take serious precautions, especially staying at least 6 feet away from other people and staying home if showing any symptoms.

If you have questions about COVID-19, call the Utah COVID-19 Information Line at 800-456-7707. You may also visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/covid19 or the State of Utah COVID-19 website at coronavirus.utah.gov. For the latest numbers in Utah, as well as further information, click here.


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