Summit County man has third coronavirus case in Utah
- Utah Department of Health: coronavirus.utah.gov/
- Summit County Health Department: summitcountyhealth.org/coronavirus
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
A Summit County resident has Utah’s third case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, health officials announced Wednesday.
The person is a man under 60 who had traveled to Austria and had close contact with another person with the coronavirus, health officials said. The man is recovering at home with symptoms not severe enough to require hospitalization.
After developing symptoms, the man called his health care provider, and clinicians from University of Utah Health collected a test sample. The case is considered a presumptive positive, and officials are awaiting further confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ARUP Laboratories tested the sample.
Officials at a press conference Wednesday declined to provide detailed specifics such as the date the man notified his health care provider or any public places he visited upon returning to Utah. They also indicated they would not be naming the man out of respect for his privacy.
Keegan McCaffery, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, said the man was identified within days of his return to Utah, and officials believe he was in close contact with fewer than five people before self-isolating. The Summit County Health Department, he said, will monitor those people by phone for possible symptoms and to ensure they are staying away from others.
Dr. Richard Orlandi from University of Utah Health praised the man for being aware of his symptoms and following the procedures officials recommend for people who believe they may have the coronavirus. He limited contact with others, called his health care provider and was identified as being in need of testing through a telehealth visit. University of Utah Health collected the test sample without the man entering a health facility.
“So much went right in this case,” Orlandi said.
Rich Bullough, director of the Summit County Health Department, said in a press release that the county has been preparing for the virus to appear locally.
“Residents and visitors of Summit County can be assured that we’ve expected and prepared for COVID-19 in our community,” he said. “The system of identifying, reporting, and now isolating the case has worked flawlessly. In partnership with the UDOH and our local healthcare network, the Summit County Health Department will continue our response to COVID-19 in Summit County and will continue to communicate openly and honestly with the public. We encourage residents and visitors not to be alarmed, but to take regular but important preventive health precautions such as correct handwashing and staying home when sick.”
The first coronavirus case in Utah was announced Friday and involved a patient in Davis County. The second positive diagnosis came Tuesday in the Weber-Morgan health district.
On Friday, Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency as part of an effort to bolster Utah’s response to the coronavirus.
The positive test in Summit County comes as communities across the country are bracing for the effects of the virus. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 1,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., including at least 38 deaths.
Utah officials have said they expect the number of cases in the state to grow as the virus continues to spread. McCaffery on Wednesday said the state’s health care system is prepared for a possible outbreak.
“I don’t know that we need to escalate our concern much more,” he said.
For information about symptoms of the coronavirus and how to protect yourself, click here.
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