CORONAVIRUS UTAH

USU Dorms New Tool In Fight Against COVID-19

Jun 19, 2020, 8:09 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2020, 3:45 pm

LOGAN, Utah – The Bear River Health Department is getting extra help for COVID-19 patients who have nowhere else to go.

Some empty dorms at Utah State University are now being used as a place for those patients to isolate and prevent the spread.

One man said the dorm made a big difference for his family.

“I’ve experienced all the symptoms. I was staying in a six-person dorm,” said Bridger Gunnell.

He was in the Bear Lake area when he first noticed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. Going home did not seem like a great idea, because his dad works in health care.

“He works with a lot of elderly patients and so we were trying to figure out an alternative way,” Gunnell said. “They were going to put plastic covering over the door and have me sit in a room by myself.”

That is where a USU dorm room came into play.

Gunnell stayed there, alone, for nine days, only seeing staff members that brought him meals.

Mike Weibel, emergency response coordinator at the Bear River Health Department, said those dorms have come in handy for several families who have narrow parameters.

“The preference is always that people isolate in their own homes,” Weibel said. “But there’s always going to be that one instance where they don’t have a home to do that in.”

Health officials said they will lose access to those dorms towards the end of July, and they were looking for another option to keep it going.

Weibel said people can avoid the virus effectively if you wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance.


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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USU Dorms New Tool In Fight Against COVID-19