CORONAVIRUS

Sundance Film Festival Possible Site Of Early COVID-19 Outbreak

May 6, 2020, 11:35 PM

PARK CITY, Utah – Illnesses among Sundance Film Festival-goers have sparked new questions about a possible coronavirus outbreak.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn addressed the speculation during a news conference Wednesday.

”It is definitely possible that COVID-19 was circulating at Sundance,” she said.

Dunn said the health department at the time worked closely with Sundance planners and Summit County to set up screening and education for all Sundance visitors about symptoms.

“At that point, we hadn’t had any cases and so we were really just monitoring symptoms,” she said.

State COVID-19 update

LIVE: State officials are holding an update on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic following news of 2 new deaths and 143 new cases.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Nearly 120,000 people flock to Park City every year for the festival. The independent film festival featured a total of 244 projects from 44 countries.

Marshall Moore, former director of the Utah Film Commission, said after attending movies and events he fell seriously ill on the last day of the festival.

“The doctors couldn’t figure it out,” Moore said. “The cough was different, my body felt different, my breathing was different.”

Moore had been in and out of the hospital five different times before finally being admitted. He said the most frustrating part was getting a diagnosis from his doctor.

“She goes ‘I know there is something wrong with you — I can hear it — but I can’t see it on the x-ray. I’m gonna call the CDC and see what they think’,” he said.

But that did not come back with any answers. Instead, doctors eventually diagnosed him with RSV, rhinovirus, bronchitis and pneumonia.

He was now wondering if it was coronavirus and planned to get an antibody test to confirm it.

“During that time I came in contact with a lot of people in a very small area,” he said. “I don’t think [coronavirus] was on anybody’s mind. I know there is the traditional Sundance flu that everybody gets and then usually that’s just from everybody staying up too late.”


Coronavirus Resources

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 recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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Sundance Film Festival Possible Site Of Early COVID-19 Outbreak