Summit County Councilor Roger Armstrong is recovering from COVID-19 |

Summit County Councilor Roger Armstrong is recovering from COVID-19

Summit County council member Roger Armstrong.
Park Record file photo

Summit County Councilor Roger Armstrong on Monday announced that he was recovering from COVID-19 and that he could still feel the effects of the disease two weeks after the sickness began.

He said he debated whether to divulge the diagnosis publicly, but used the opportunity to encourage residents to wear masks.

“I can still feel some irritation in my lungs that’s trying to resolve itself,” Armstrong told his fellow county councilors at a meeting Monday. “My head’s still a little bit fuzzy. And I can tell you, having gone through it, I’m not sure that I’m entirely confident about what the future may bring in terms of long-term consequences. The good news — I started this, actually, in pretty good health.”

Armstrong is among the most prominent Parkites known to have contracted the virus. Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter battled the virus in May and recovered after 10 to 12 days of symptoms including migraines and severe joint pain.

Armstrong indicated his symptoms included shortness of breath and lack of mental clarity. In recent public meetings, Armstrong has said that he wasn’t sharp, but he was able to weigh in on various subjects including setback distances for septic systems and the utilization rate of the county’s transit system.

He said he had taken the virus seriously, but contracted it despite wearing a mask, limiting his time in public and attempting to follow health guidelines.

“At this point in Utah, generally, COVID is literally everywhere. Our ICUs are rapidly filling up, hospitals are running out of room,” Armstrong said. “… My personal recommendation is, stay home if you can, work from home if you can, limit your trips right now because the infection rates are very high. I think in the state of Utah, we’re approaching 25% positivity rate. The incidence right now is extraordinarily high. And my best advice is, if you don’t have to go out, don’t go out. Protect yourselves for now.”

He implored residents to follow health guidelines and cover their faces in public. He said that the county isn’t in position to shut down businesses like it did when the pandemic hit earlier this year, adding that doing so wouldn’t have much positive effect without the coordination of neighboring counties.

Gov. Gary Herbert has said that wearing masks is the least expensive intervention officials can offer and that it would help the state’s economy stay open. Local and state officials have said they have few other tools to stem the spread of the virus.

About two minutes after Armstrong began speaking, he said he was feeling a lack of oxygen, unusual for the former council chair and lawyer who frequently gives lengthy and well-spoken commentaries in public meetings.

“Please wear a mask,” he said. “If you’re advocating for not wearing a mask, I say, with all due respect, that’s both careless, it’s stupid, it causes harm to other people. Wear a mask. It’s not that big a deal. We’re not infringing on your constitutional rights. Just wear the mask. Be respectful to your neighbors. Honor the lives of others that are at risk right now.”

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