MURRAY, UTAH — The Centers for Disease Control is requesting a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus, COVID-19, be treated in Utah. Intermountain Healthcare in Murray agreed to treat the person Friday evening.
Mark Jorgensen from St. George is the patient transferred to Utah from California. He requested to be brought back to be closer to home last week. Jorgensen tested positive for coronavirus while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
“He arrived and continues to have no symptoms after his transfer,” said Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious disease specialist for Intermountain Healthcare. “He has no clinical symptoms of COVID, he happens to just happens to have the virus.”
In just about 20 minutes, a news conference from @IntermtnMedCtr will give us some details about a #coronavirus patient being brought to Utah for treatment. Tune in at 8 on @kslnewsradio. pic.twitter.com/lWZ6yDfoQk
— Kira Hoffelmeyer (@kirahoffelmeyer) February 29, 2020
Dr. Vento said they will continue to monitor Jorgensen and update the public as necessary.
“He is without symptoms,” said Dr. Vento. “We will test him, and when he tests negative, we will actually discharge him and he will, at that point in time, have no infectious risk for transmission of disease.”
Once Jorgensen tests negative for the virus, he will be released from the hospital at no risk to the public.
Utah has tested 11 people for coronavirus and all tests have turned back negative. There are 4 tests waiting for results. Starting next week, Utah will have coronavirus tests readily available.
— KSL NewsRadio (@kslnewsradio) February 29, 2020
The company says Jorgensen will be treated in a special, separate unit. It’s designed for “high-level isolation” that’s only available at a few hospitals in the United States. The unit has its own entrances, and individualized water and air filtration systems.
Dr. Vento assures the public that those assigned to Jorgensen’s case are highly trained to treat the virus and have taken the proper measures to protect the public.
State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said the threat of the virus in Utah is still low at this time.
Dunn recommends those who believe they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to contact their local health practitioner before coming into the hospital.
The Utah Department of Health and hospitals around the state have been updating the public on how to prepare for the coronavirus. The Utah Department of Health will inform the public within 24-hours of positive result for COVID-19.
The CDC announced earlier this week that it’s inevitable that COVID-19 ends up in the U.S.