Wasatch County Council Hears Reports Regarding Mental Health Services And The School District

At their Tuesday evening special meeting Wasatch County Council learned about a positive statistic for the cases of COVID-19 in the county. The council also heard about mental health practices and how the school district is preparing for the end of the high school quarantine on Thursday morning.

Wasatch County Health Department Director Randall Probst shared that there has been 16 people in Wasatch County, 15 residents and one visitor, who have been confirmed to have COVID-19. Probst did share some good news.

“As of today, we have four that are now considered recovered,” Probst explained. “So, they’re not active cases today, but we were only reporting total cases. We have had four now that have met the criteria to come off of being active, which would be considered recovered case. So that’s a good step.”

The council also learned with the increasing availability of testing, the threshold for who can receive a test has been lowered, which should also help slow the spread of the virus.

Probst shared ways for people to take care of their mental health during the crisis, including communication with others, physical movement and meditation especially focused on gratitude. Program manager of the Wasatch County Family Clinic, of Wasatch Mental Health, Chad Shubin recommended using resources such as seeing a therapist possibly through a telephone appointment, using the SafeUT app, or a crisis line if needed as anxiety and depression can run high during a pandemic.

“There’s uncertainty as to how long the pandemic going to take place,” Shubin continued. “Uncertainty is very normal. Wanting to know what my new normal is going to be, is a question we all want answered. Unfortunately, right now we’re going to have to be a little comfortable with ambiguity and understanding that sense of anxiety is going to persist until this is resolved. That’s just something that we’ll have to accept. That being said, a lot of what Randall said is useful. Where we can, create new structure. Where we can, find associations and find opportunities to express gratitude that’s going to have a lot of utility. Exercise, very important. Sunlight and vitamin D, very important.”

Wasatch County School District Superintendent Paul Sweat shared their mental health resources for students in the meeting as well, a link to those resources can be found here.

On Monday Governor Gary Herbert ordered the closure of schools through at least May 1. Sweat said they’re hoping for the best but planning for the worst.

“We hope that we can be back in school Monday, May 4th,” Sweat said. “But I’m asking my people in the district to plan for the rest of the school year. As I look at the numbers and the predictions that are being made by some of the professionals here in the state, it’s looking like we’re going to be in the phase that we’re in for eight to 10 weeks. Which puts us to the middle of May, and I don’t think there’s a real argument to come back to school in the middle of May. We’re looking at this as this is normal for the rest of the school year, so let’s settle into those routines.”

Sweat stated that while its true people have occasionally seen a high school student out in the community, when you take into consideration how many of the nearly 2,400 students you’re not seeing Sweat says that is a testament to the collective effort that students have taken to keep the self-isolation order, which ends on Thursday morning. In preparation for that end, the district plans to release a video on Wednesday afternoon.

“We will remind our students and our parents that just because the quarantine is over doesn’t mean that it’s back to life as normal,” Sweat explained. “We still have these guidelines set forth by our County and our state as it relates to self-isolation, and doing things, being smart about this. Not congregating in groups larger than ten and all those things that we’ve been conditioned to do.”

Also highlighted at the meeting was the Coronavirus.Wasatch.Utah.Gov webpage which has a link to businesses still open during the pandemic, as well as a link to the state’s page which contains resources for business owners released on Tuesday, the entire meeting can be found here.

Read the original story at KPCW.org