Weber-Morgan Health Department announces first death from COVID-19

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OGDEN, Utah, March 31, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Weber-Morgan Health Department is reporting the first COVID-19 death of a resident, officials said Tuesday.

The death occurred Sunday and was a previously reported positive case in a long-term care facility, said a news release from the department.

The individual was a female between the ages of 18 and 60 and had been reported to public health as a positive case through COVID-19 testing conducted last week.

The woman had underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe disease and complication from COVID-19, the news release said. She was previously receiving hospice services for some time.

“We want the family and the staff and residents at the care facility to know our heartfelt condolences,” said Brian Bennion, executive director of the Weber-Morgan Health Department. “We appreciate the prompt actions of the care facility to recognize and prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus. They immediately implemented prevention measures to protect the other residents and their staff.”

Weber-Morgan Health Department is working with individuals who were in close contact with the patient. At this time, there are no COVID-19 cases associated with the person who died.

“Staff at the facility placed the resident in isolation and administered them a test shortly after their symptoms developed,” the news release said. “The facility identified all close contacts including residents and staff. Those at risk for exposure were notified to begin self-monitoring.”

As an additional precaution, members of the Healthcare Associated Infection Team from the Utah Department of Health were brought in to assist with the investigation, a facility assessment and offer guidance for additional prevention activities.

“Assuring the health and safety of vulnerable populations, like those living in long-term care facilities is an important part of the public health response,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health. “We’ve worked hard with our partners at local health departments to ensure these facilities are aware of the steps they can take to limit the spread of COVID-19 among their residents.”

Investigation and prevention measures recommended by the UDOH, and implemented by the facility include:

  • Monitoring of close contacts and all facility residents, with testing as needed.
  • Notification of possibly exposed hospice workers and facility staff to monitor closely for symptoms. If symptoms develop, they are to remain excluded from work and to immediately report symptoms to public health for testing as needed.
  • Provided training, signage and guidance tools for staff.
  • Implement social distancing and prevention measure with residents and vendors.
  • Planning for additional testing and outbreak response if it becomes necessary.

For the latest coronavirus numbers statewide click here.


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