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COVID-19 cases rising in Summit County, Park City party to blame

Health officials in Summit County say a spike in COVID-19 cases are linked to a party earlier this month. (Photo: Summit County Health Department)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Health officials in Summit County traced a spike in COVID-19 cases back to a Park City party earlier this month. 

Party foul in Summit County

The Summit County Health Department says the private gathering was held in early August in Park City. According to them, attendants did not widely wear face masks. Then, shortly afterward, daily COVID-19 numbers started to increase.

“For several weeks, Summit County residents and businesses had successfully kept new COVID-19 cases at low levels,” the Summit County Health Department statement reads. “This should be a reminder that the irresponsible actions of a few can place our communities, businesses, residents, and visitors at risk.”

Officials say back on August 1, the county reported just four new COVID-19 cases. Daily numbers stayed between one and six each day all the way through August 15.

But on August 16, new daily cases jumped to 14. On August 19, the numbers increased to 21 new cases.

Party problem or school concern?

The Summit County Health Department claims the spike is primarily associated with the party. Case investigations and contact tracing continue, although officials say they are confident the spike is not associated with the reopening of schools.

“The data is clear: wearing a face covering decreases the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” county Health Director Dr. Rich Bullough said on August 7. “Our economic and health outlook for the fall and winter is much more favorable if we can maintain this trend through community effort. We are hopeful these data encourage our residents and visitors to remain vigilant in wearing face coverings. Their efforts are clearly paying off.”

Numbers provided on Thursday from the state health department indicate that Utah has seen a total of 47,982 novel coronavirus cases. 39,364 of those individuals have recovered, while 381 total deaths have been recorded. 46.4% of the state’s cases were concentrated in Salt Lake County and 1.6% were in Summit County, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States