Davis County Hiring Staff As COVID-19 Cases Expected To Rise
CLEARFIELD, Utah – Officials with the Davis County Health Department said they are expecting a growth in coronavirus cases and the county will need to hire dozens to help with an increased focus on contact tracing.
“We bent the curve and we lowered it. Now as we start opening up the economy, we fully expect cases to rise here in Davis County,” said Brian Hatch, director of the county health department.
Hatch said the challenge now is trying to balance reopening the economy with public safety.
It means they will need additional help to keep the number of new cases as low as possible.
“Contact tracing investigation is one of the critical components to managing an outbreak,” Hatch explained.
Davis County Health will fill more than 40 new positions depending on how much funding they can round up between state, local and federal funds from the CARES act.
“Every (COVID-19) case that comes in, we call that individual and we interview them. We go through an extensive history of when they got sick. We go back a few days – up to seven days,” Hatch said.
Tools like the Healthy Together Utah app can help, but ultimately investigators will track down the people who were potentially exposed to the virus.
Hatch said the new jobs will be needed into next year. However, the public will have to continue taking precautions like social distancing and using masks to slow the spread of the disease.
“Really this is a longer haul than just the next seven months. We’ve got to look at it into next year,” he said. “That’s why we’re opening these positions, to make sure we’re protecting public health and individuals’ health.
Hatch said the county also needs to hire a new epidemiologist.
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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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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