CORONAVIRUS UTAH

One Year Ago, COVID-19 Concerns Hit Home For Many Utahns

Mar 11, 2021, 11:32 PM | Updated: 11:35 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Many Utahns will remember the night the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled after Rudy Gobert’s positive COVID-19 test was announced.

Even now, a year later, the moment COVID-19 was no longer something that only affected other countries still feels like a bad dream.

“We’ll wait and see what the official word is,” said an announcer during the game on March 11, 2020. “We will try to clarify this as soon as the information comes forth.”

The Jazz were in Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. However, the game was called off just before tipoff because Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

That scene of players walking off the court is one many will never forget.

“While the pandemic did not start a year ago for many of us, today marks the day when I think it became real,” said Gov. Spencer Cox during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Of course, it wasn’t Gobert’s fault — he was just the first player to test positive.

One Year Later, No Pandemic Closure For Surging Jazz

But, it did lead to an NBA, and eventual all sports, shutdown.

“The world has changed in the last three hours. Who knows what we’re going to encounter tomorrow?” said KSL sports anchor Spencer Linton that night on the 10 o’clock newscast when talking about what happened.

The next day we knew.

Events were canceled. Businesses and restaurants closed. Schools began shutting down.

It might not have been fear, but there was certainly some panic.

Lines at grocery stores were long.

At the Murray Costco, the lines were often 20-25 people deep.

Shoppers Met With Long, Long Lines For Groceries

“I’m worried about everything shutting down and not being able to purchase groceries,” said one shopper as she packed boxes of food into her car.

“It is madness in there. They’re out of toilet paper,” laughed another shopper.

We can laugh about the shortage of toilet paper now, but at the time, along with the lack of bottled water, meat and sanitizers, there was concern.

“It’s not so much I’m worried about it, I’m just worried because everybody else is worried,” said one man as he put cases of bottled water and food into his car. “So I’m stocking up on things because if I need something a week down the road, who knows what it’s going to be like?”

There was no way to know for sure. Only that we all had a sense that it was going to get worse.

“I suspect that we will be continuing to see more cases in our community, in Utah, along the Wasatch Front, and other areas,” said a worker with the Utah Department of Health during a press conference last March.

He was right — case numbers did increase.

But now, after what has been a tough year, things are finally looking better.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, who knows about as well as anyone what kind of year it has been, said that during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“We’re on our way to the end. We’re so close,” she said. “And we’re really fortunate to have a decrease in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths at the same time we’re increasing our access to vaccine.”

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.
8 days 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.
3 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

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
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.
One Year Ago, COVID-19 Concerns Hit Home For Many Utahns