Wasatch County Health Department Director Briefs County Council On COVID-19 Prep

On Wednesday, Wasatch County Council received an update from the County Health Department on their efforts to prepare for and deal with the possibility of the COVID-19 coronavirus making its way to the county.

Wasatch County Health Department Director Randal Probst has set up a joint information system where various public information officers in the county coordinate how information is disseminated.

“We’ve had really good visits with the school district,” Probst continued. “We’ve met with them, they’re very engaged and working jointly with us. We’ve formed another task force that brings people in from all of the entities in the county. We’ve started at the beginning with those are the highest risk and highest areas of susceptibility and that the task force continues to grow. We meet weekly with the various representatives from cities, and school, and businesses. As you’re aware some of the higher risk is with the elderly, and so we’ve looped in there our care centers and long term facilities and those kinds of organizations so that we’re all on the same page.”

The Wasatch County Health Department has set up a webpage where residents can get specific information about the virus in the county. That address is coronavirus.wasatch.utah.gov. Information on the website includes a display of confirmed cases in Wasatch County and confirmed cases statewide. As of Thursday afternoon, Wasatch County had zero, while the state had five.

“Fortunately for the state of Utah so far, there have been no cases of in-community spread,” Probst said. “They’ve all come in from the outside, most of those have to do with travel.”

Probst said currently Wasatch County has been actively screening residents that have been identified by airports, hospitals, and clinics as being at risk. The health department has three classifications for those who they are interested in watching for symptoms. One is persons under investigation, that’s those who are symptomatic and match the profile of having the virus but are awaiting testing. The next level down is those under active monitoring. These people are contacted twice a day by the health department, they are also those who are at a higher-risk and have recently returned from a place where there is community spread of the virus.

As of Thursday afternoon, Wasatch County Health Department does not have any individuals who fall under the person under investigation or active monitoring umbrella. The lowest level of classification is self-monitoring.

“They’ve come in from somewhere that was high risk,” Probst explained. “They don’t have symptoms; they don’t fit the classification of a person under investigation yet. They don’t meet all that criteria, but they could be at risk. So, we ask them to self-isolate. We ask them to just stay home and we have a monitoring program that we give to them. They do a couple of things; they monitor themselves twice a day with temperature and other things to track themselves and do self-monitoring. We’ve asked them then to self-isolate for that 14 days.”

As of Thursday afternoon, there are three cases of people who are under self-monitoring in Wasatch County.

Read the original story at KPCW.org