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FILE: Gov. Gary Herbert talks about the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Utah.
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First Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first case of the novel coronavirus in Utah has been confirmed, according to officials with the Utah Department of Health, Davis County Health Department and the COVID-19 Community Task Force.

The patient is a resident of Davis County and is older than 60, officials said. They said the patient is believed to have been exposed to the coronavirus while on a recent cruise aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.

No further information was released about the patient but officials said the Davis County Health Department will monitor the patient, as well as any of the patient’s close contacts. The patient is recovering at home under a county-issued isolation order.

“Our first priority will be ensuring the patient’s family members and medical providers are monitored for potential symptoms and tested, if necessary,” said Brian Hatch, director of the Davis County Health Department. “We will also work closely with the patient to determine if they may have exposed any other members of the community.”

Officials said the public should recognize this case does not represent community spread of COVID-19 in Utah.

“Even though a person in Utah has developed the illness, the risk to the general public remains low,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn. “However, this case does represent a turning point in our response. Home isolation of confirmed cases who aren’t sick enough to be hospitalized is a proven measure that will help limit the spread of disease. We need the public to understand this, as isolating these types of cases at home will become more routine as we identify additional cases.”

Earlier Friday, Governor Gary Herbert declared a State of Emergency to release federal funds and help prepare for a potential increased demand on the state’s health services and resources.

“First and foremost, I’m hopeful this patient will make a fast and full recovery. This is undoubtedly a frightening situation for their patient and their family, and we stand ready to assist them,” said Herbert said. “Utah residents should feel confident that all levels of state and local government and our health care providers have been preparing for this moment for many weeks now. We will certainly see additional cases in the near future, and we are prepared to take the necessary steps to protect the public’s health and limit the spread of this illness.”

First Coronavirus Case Confirmed In Utah

LIVE: State health officials are giving an update after the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the state. More here:

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, March 6, 2020

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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