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Third case of coronavirus detected in Utah

The Utah Health Dept. confirms a third case of COVID-19 coronavirus.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Utah health officials confirms that the third case of coronavirus has been detected in the state.  This affected person is in Summit County.

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) and the Summit County Health Department (SCHD) announced the third diagnosis on Wednesday afternoon.

The Summit County patient is a male under the age of 60, according to a statement released by UDOH. Prior to becoming sick, the patient traveled to Austria  and had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, UDOH added.

The patient is currently recovering at home, and doctors say his symptoms don’t require hospitalization.

The Summit County man is getting high praise from health officials.  Utah Department of Health Epidemiologist Keegan McCaffrey says the patient was able to recognize his initial symptoms and confirm he had contact with someone who had coronavirus.

“The patient contacted a health care provider first through the University of Utah’s tele-health system, Virtual Urgent Care, to be assessed for COVID-19,” McCaffrey says.

Both health departments are attempting to identify and contact anyone who may have been in close contact with the diagnosed patient. UDOH said those in contact with the COVID-19 patient will be monitored by public health officials for coronavirus symptoms.  However, McCaffrey says the patient interacted with extremely few people since he returned.

McCaffrey says, “He self-isolated, contacted their health care provider.  So, in this particular case, it’s less than five.”

University of Utah Health officials were able to prepare for the patient’s visit beforehand.  Doctor Richard Orlandi says technicians were able to test the patient in a parking lot, without him having to come inside any kind of facility.

At the time of publication, the test is considered a “presumptive positive,” until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can test the sample.  Orlandi says they have to take far more precautions with coronavirus patients than they do flu patients.

“There is no immunity for coronavirus.  There’s no immunity for it because there’s no immunization for it,” Orlandi says.

“Residents and visitors of Summit County can be assured that we’ve expected and prepared for COVID-19 in our community,” said Dr. Rich Bullough, director of the SCHD.  “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 statement continued.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to seasonal influenza, specifically, a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

“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.”


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