Utah Events Canceled, Classes Go Online As COVID-19 Fears Worsen
Mar 12, 2020, 6:01 AM | Updated: 6:19 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As the World Health Organization declares COVID-19 crisis a pandemic, Americans are facing more drastic changes to daily life.
Leaders across all sectors are heeding the call to take aggressive action.
President Donald Trump addressed the nation Wednesday from the Oval Office and announced tight restriction on travel from continental Europe. Those restrictions go into place Friday night.
Americans who have been properly screened can still re-enter the country.
More than 100 universities across the country have moved classes online. In The Beehive State, the University of Utah and Weber State are set to make statements Thursday on whether they’ll follow suit.
Utah State University is continuing classes as normal, but on-campus events have been canceled.
Sporting events are also being impacted. The Runnin’ Utes on Wednesday played to fans in the Pac-12 tournament, losing to Oregon State. Starting today, though, the seats will be empty – as they will be for all other PAC-12 competitions and the NCAA tournament.
The NBA has suspended its season entirely after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.
A Deseret News reporter, who is traveling with the Jazz and has direct contact with the players on a daily basis, also had to be tested.
“It was scary knowing that I’m potentially still in it where I could be an infected person and not know whether or not I’ll be safe around anyone,” said sports reporter Sarah Todd. “I wish the NBA had postponed things before tonight.”
Todd is currently quarantined in a hotel room in Oklahoma City while she waits for details on how she’ll get back to Utah.
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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 is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a face mask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
If you’re worried about whether you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professional.