Officials: Call if you’re sick to avoid compromising the health care system |

Officials: Call if you’re sick to avoid compromising the health care system

The Summit County Health Department.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record
Resources for information about the coronavirus

People concerned about whether they have COVID-19 are advised to call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707. 

On Friday morning, officials announced the third and fourth known COVID-19 cases in Summit County.

Local, state and federal officials have been working to contain the outbreak, including advocating measures to prevent health systems from being overloaded.

One of the most important measures, local officials have said, is for people who have flu-like symptoms to call their health care provider before visiting a medical facility in person.

“We want to make sure that folks who are exhibiting systems aren’t just wandering up to an emergency room,” said Chris Crowley, Summit County’s emergency manager. “We want them to go through the process and arrive at an emergency room or clinic that is prepared to see them.”

The person who had the first case of the virus in Summit County followed many correct procedures, officials said. He called a telemedicine arm of his health care provider, which allowed the clinic to prepare its staff to receive him. When he arrived, a clinician in protective gear collected a sample while he remained outside the clinic, effectively limiting exposure to others.

Health Director Rich Bullough said calling a health care provider rather than visiting lowers the risk of spreading the virus to other patients and, crucially, to the health care providers themselves.

“We need to consider as a community, as a population of people, that one of our highest-risk populations are the caregivers. We cannot afford to have nurses and physicians out sick with this,” Bullough said. “Especially as the (number of cases of the virus in) community members increase, it is important that we take the actions individually to protect (health care providers). And so I think the process of not just showing up at a clinic is critical.”

For information about symptoms of the coronavirus and how to protect yourself, click here.

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