(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and the Summit County Health Department (SCHD) today announced the state’s third case of COVID-19.
UDOH epidemiologist Keegan McCaffery and Dr. Richard Orlandi from the University of Utah Health will be available for interviews at 4:00 p.m. at the Cannon Health Building (288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City), room 129.
The patient is a male Summit County resident, he is an adult younger than 60, and is currently recovering at home. Prior to becoming ill, he traveled to Europe and had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case during that travel.
The UDOH and the SCHD are working to identify and contact anyone who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case. These individuals will be monitored by public health for fever and respiratory symptoms.
“Residents and visitors of Summit County can be assured that we’ve expected and prepared for COVID-19 in our community. The system of identifying, reporting, and now isolating the case has worked flawlessly,” said Dr. Rich Bullough, director of the SCHD. “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 patient called their health care provider through Virtual Urgent Care and notified them of his travel history and symptoms. Clinicians from University of Utah Health were able to prepare for the patient’s visit, including collecting a clinical sample without requiring the patient to enter the facility. ARUP Laboratories tested the patient’s sample. The case is considered to be a “presumptive positive” until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is able to conduct further confirmatory testing.
“The system worked just as we hoped it would. We continue to emphasize the importance of calling your provider first if you suspect you may have COVID-19,” said Dr. Thomas Miller, Chief Medical Officer, University of Utah Health. “This enables us to help control the spread of this virus and better protect our patients, our staff and the community.”
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to what someone may be experiencing as the result of seasonal influenza – namely a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. These symptoms on their own are not worrisome and should not cause alarm. But if someone exhibits these symptoms who has recently traveled to areas with widespread COVID-19 illness or has been in close contact with a known positive case, that individual should immediately notify their health care provider, who will coordinate with the appropriate public health officials to determine next steps.
There is currently no vaccine or antiviral treatment available for coronavirus and it is flu and respiratory disease season. The UDOH recommends getting vaccinated for influenza, and taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs including regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or an elbow, and staying home when you’re sick. All nonessential travel to areas affected by COVID-19 is also discouraged.
More information about novel coronavirus can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov or at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
# # #