Number Of Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Jumps In Utah
UPDATE: The Utah Department of Health on Sunday released new numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Twenty-one residents and seven non-Utah residents have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total count to 28 cases currently in the state.
There are three cases in Davis County, 14 in Salt Lake County, one in southwest Utah, eight in Summit County, one in Utah County and one in Weber-Morgan.
This is a breaking news update. The original story continues below.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The official count of confirmed coronavirus cases in Utah has risen over the last 24 hours, including the state’s first community transmission.
Officials with the Salt Lake County Department of Health said nine more people tested positive for novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total to 19.
All were believed to have been contracted during travel, or from people living in the same household.
Officials said all but three of the cases were over the age of 18. Three were children, and attended school while showing symptoms of the disease.
As a result, Hunter High School in West Valley City and Entheos Academy may have been affected. Students and staff at both schools have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Employees and individuals who are not regularly assigned to Hunter High School but may have visited the facility recently are encouraged to follow general health department guidelines and recommendations for self-care but are not under the self-quarantine order.
— Granite School Dist. (@GraniteSchools) March 15, 2020
Officials at the Granite School District Hunter High School would be closed. Anyone who has recently visited the school has been advised to follow recommendations for self-care, but have not been asked to self-quarantine.
The Davis County Health Department confirmed their second case of COVID-19. Officials said the person was between the ages of 18 and 60, and receiving care at home.
— Davis County Health (@DavisCountyHlth) March 15, 2020
They said the person was notified about potential exposure while traveling outside the country, and quickly self-isolated themselves and their family.
“This person and their family should be commended for doing what is best for the entire community. Because of quick self-quarantine and social distancing actions taken, they ensured this exposure to COVID-19 would not spread further in our community,” officials said in a press release.
Officials credited the person with avoiding close contact with other people.
“There is no risk to other Davis County residents in relation to this case,” they said.
The University of Utah confirmed a graduate student who also works on campus has tested positive for coronavirus.
The person had recently traveled to another state.
Officials said the individual was on campus briefly, but did not have contact with any students at their job in the counseling center because of spring break.
A member of the campus community has tested positive for COVID-19.
The university is working closely with public health officials to support a full and speedy recovery for this individual.
More information: https://t.co/r8ff4xhGuV
— University of Utah (@UUtah) March 15, 2020
The individual was self-isolating off campus.
“Co-workers and friends who had direct contact with this individual have been contacted and are being asked to self-isolate as well,” officials said in a press release.
It was not clear if the graduate student was included in the numbers of new Salt Lake County cases.
Saturday’s increase in positive tests was not surprising to officials.
“This tells us COVID-19 is spreading in this community. You don’t need a history of travel in order to get this disease,” said state epidemiologist Angela Dunn during a press conference Saturday morning. “We’ve been expecting this development and preparing for it.”
Including five cases in non-Utah residents, there are 24 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in the state. Health officials recommend that the public avoid large gatherings, stay home if you are sick, and practice good hygiene.
— Amy Donaldson (@adonsports) March 15, 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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