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0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02e0000KPCW's COVID-19 news coverage for Summit County and Wasatch County, Utah. 0000017b-652b-d50a-a3ff-f7efb02f0000You can also visit the Utah Department of Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

First "Community Spread" of COVID-19 in Utah in Summit County

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KPCW
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Health officials announced Saturday that the first instance of community spread of COVID-19 in Utah is in Summit County.

Community spread means the source of the infection is unknown.  The patient, a male between the age of 18 and 60 years old, had not travelled nor had any contact with an infected person.  He is at home recovering from his illness.

The patient is also an employee at The Spur Bar & Grill in Park City, and reported to work while symptomatic.  Health officials say his job did not require extended periods of time with customers, and the biggest risk is to his coworkers.  The Spur closed Friday night for a thorough cleaning.  Dr. Rich Bullough, executive director of the Summit County Health Department said, “While we don’t believe there is a high risk to patrons of the bar, if you have visited the Spur Bar and Grill since March 6 you should monitor yourself for symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.”

Spur owner Cortney Johanson issued the following statement:

"Late last night we were made aware that a member of our employee family tested positive for COVID-19. From the moment we found out, we have been working with authorities at the Summit County Health Department to ensure the safety of our community, our customers, and our staff. 

We are currently closed and are undergoing a deep cleaning and sanitizing of our space. We have retained an outside company to ensure every sanitary measure is implemented, and continue to work with the Health Department to mitigate any further issue. We are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure our Spur family and our community remain healthy. We are grateful for the long-standing positive relationship we have with the Health Department, and would like to thank the community in advance for their continued support."

“This is the first case of community transmission in Utah, and it reinforces the importance of all the community mitigation efforts we’ve been talking about for the past several weeks,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist for the Utah Department Of Health. “Everyone needs to continue to do their part: Stay home if you are sick, keep your kids home if they are sick, and practice good hygiene to avoid sharing your germs to others.”

The UDOH and the SCHD are working to identify other individuals who may have come into close contact with the patient while he was symptomatic. These individuals will be monitored by public health for fever and respiratory symptoms.

“Residents of Summit County should be assured that we are doing everything within our means to protect their health,” said Thomas C. Fisher, Summit County Manager. “On Thursday, Dr. Bullough and I signed local emergency declarations in anticipation of the very situation we have announced this morning. These declarations were not made lightly and will allow us to utilize emergency resources to combat the spread of COVID-19. Summit County, our municipalities and our other community partners are prepared and ready.”

Public health officials are still asking the public to avoid going to hospitals and clinics for COVID-19 testing if symptoms aren’t present. Instead, use telehealth or call your healthcare provider to find out if testing is necessary so that hospitals, clinics, and ERs and not overloaded. Health care facilities report the high volume of visits from healthy people is affecting their ability to provide care for those truly in need.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to what someone may be experiencing as the result of seasonal influenza – namely a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. These symptoms on their own are not worrisome and should not cause alarm. But if someone exhibits these symptoms who has recently traveled to areas with ongoing transmission of  COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a known positive case, that individual should notify their health care provider by telephone, who will coordinate the appropriate next steps.

There is currently no vaccine or antiviral treatment available for coronavirus and it is flu and respiratory disease season.

More information about novel coronavirus can be found at coronavirus.utah.gov or at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You may also call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.
 

Renai Bodley Miller became General Manager of KPCW in June, 2017. Previously, she was a reporter at KPCW. Renai is a 25 year veteran of the television news business. She was a news producer in Roanoke, VA, Richmond, VA, Miami, FL, and Washington, DC before moving to Utah in 1996 to be the Executive Producer at KSTU Fox 13. In 1999, she was promoted to Vice President/News Director. Under Renai’s tenure, Fox 13 expanded its news coverage from 2.5 hours to 10 hours of news a day. She retired in July, 2015, to enjoy her new home in Park City; but she couldn’t stay out of a newsroom for long. Less than a month later she signed on with KPCW as a reporter, and less than two years later she was promoted to General Manager when Larry Warren retired.