Summit County health director predicts winter coronavirus situation will resemble 2022-23
In Park City appearance, official urges kindness regarding masks, pandemic politics
Summit County’s top health official on Thursday predicted the winter coronavirus situation will resemble the one of 2022-23, saying vaccines are available and a variant of the virus now circulating is not expected to cause an exceptionally large increase in cases.
Phil Bondurant, the health director, addressed the state of the coronavirus during an appearance at the Marsac Building designed to provide an update to Mayor Nann Worel and the Park City Council. His remarks regarding the upcoming winter were especially notable as the community begins to prepare for the economically critical ski season.
“So, how are we going to deal with COVID this year? Well, we’re going to deal with it the way we dealt with it last winter. And that is by understanding personal risk, doing what you can to minimize that risk, make decisions based on the amount of risk you’re willing to take and, of course, consider being vaccinated,” Bondurant told the elected officials.
He described the efforts of the Health Department to make vaccines available this fall. Bondurant said the department will offer coronavirus vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Novavax while the majority of the pharmacies in Summit County will offer the one from Pfizer. He said the Health Department plans to place a vaccine order on Monday with the expectation they will be available for injections during the first week of October. The department is currently accepting appointment requests for the vaccinations.
The remarks at the City Council meeting on Thursday were made amid a recent increase in the level of coronavirus detected in wastewater in Summit County. The number has been level or increased slightly since mid-August, the Health Department said in the days before Bondurant’s appearance. Even so, there has not been an accompanying climb in coronavirus cases reported to the department or an increase in coronavirus hospitalizations in Summit County, the Health Department said early in the week.
Bondurant made broad predictions for the winter as he spoke about the possibility of a cold-weather season that will be akin in nature regarding the coronavirus to the most recent one. The winter will “look very similar to the one we had last winter with cases, maybe a few hospitalizations. Hopefully no deaths. But we have that protective factor in a vaccine that’s going to be available.”
Bondurant, meanwhile, said the most recent increase in cases in Utah “is not as nearly significant as it is in other parts of the United States.”
“We in Summit County have been fortunate that we have not had a hospitalization due to covid for a very long time. And we’re proud of that and we hope that continues throughout the season,” he said.
Bondurant also briefly spoke about his hopes for the way people treat each other as they take their own precautions against the coronavirus or other sicknesses.
“Be kind. You’re going to see individuals in the community wearing masks. You’re going to see individuals in the community doing certain things to protect themselves. And regardless of where somebody may sit or stand politically or any other realm on covid or flu or RSV, just asking people to be kind,” he said.
Matthew Christopher Hogel, of Heber City, and Mark Vincent Devine, of Arizona, are scheduled to be sentenced next month in separate kidnapping cases.
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