Salt Lake County Medical Director: It’s Irresponsible To Be Out In Groups During Outbreak

Mar 15, 2020, 11:19 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm
Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for the Salt Lake County Health Department, said it's irresponsi...
Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for the Salt Lake County Health Department, said it's irresponsible for people to be out in groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Even if you aren’t likely to get very sick from COVID-19, you should still practice social distancing to keep from infecting vulnerable populations, according to officials with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

“You really have to now think about us as the community,” said Dr. Dagmar Vitek, the department’s medical director. “I think everybody has to take these measures.”

Vitek said it’s irresponsible for residents to be out in groups or to be having close contact with others since we should assume that community spread is possible.

For people over 60 years old, the recommendation is to stay home as much as possible. If you must go out in public, try to do so during off-hours and avoid crowded places. This advice also applies to those with health conditions or compromised immune systems.

For younger, generally healthy people, the instructions are to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away for other people.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to have enough tests to test everybody,” Vitek said.

When it comes to testing, if you are mildly ill the advice and treatment will be the same whether or not it’s a laboratory-confirmed case.

“It’s not like they would diagnose you with COVID-19 and tell you we have medication or a vaccine — we don’t,” Vitek said. “We pretty much just have to isolate ourselves and take care of ourselves.”

More than 80% of those who catch COVID-19 will experience only mild symptoms, Vitek said.

“If you have the fever and cough and shortness of breath, you can assume you probably have it,” she added.

For those who suffer more serious illness, Vitek said to first contact a medical provider over the phone for instructions.

Meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new recommendations that gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled over the next eight weeks.

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the CDC said in a statement. “Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.”

The statement went on to say the recommendation does not apply to schools, colleges or businesses.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
1 day ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Salt Lake County Medical Director: It’s Irresponsible To Be Out In Groups During Outbreak