The Wasatch County Council work session on Wednesday included a COVID-19 update. The county public health director had some words of caution about recent spikes statewide and the continuation of a high death rate in the county.
Wasatch County has a positive COVID-19 case count of 3.3 per 33,000 population. Public Health Officer Randall Probst says looking at the case numbers in context is important because they live in a small community, the charts show small numbers. He says they’re hitting the state goal to keep new case counts under 10 per 100,000 He says they’re not meeting the mortality goal of no more than 1% statewide. Wasatch County has had seven deaths representing 1.4% of people who have contracted COVID-19.
“Because we're small and the number seems small doesn't say you know we're just this shining star or we're right there. The death rate is higher than the state average. Our case per 100,000 is right on. So, you just look at a graph where you're trying to compare that, it's really hard to see when you're not seeing that kind of variation. You take a place like Utah County right now that's seeing 300 and 400 cases a day and then you stop and think well BYU has 30,000 kids that just showed up. That's the size of Wasatch County. UVU has 45,000 kids that just showed up from all over. That's bigger than Wasatch County.”
Wasatch County Council Member Mark Nelson says some constituents think the virus is contained enough and the graphs show they should be moving to the next step of reducing restrictions.
“I’ve watched these graphs every day and talked to several citizens and a lot of them just say, we have this thing under control. Let's move, you know, progress to whatever the next step is. That's a hard thing to answer or that’s a hard thing to talk about.”
“I think what Randall’s saying is we've got to continue to be vigilant and look out take care so that we don't have a big spike.”
That’s County Council Member Kendall Crittenden. Probst says county businesses are working hard to keep safe practices for the benefit of the entire community.
“I’m not trying to sound the alarm. I’m not trying to say things are bad. I think we're doing a great job when we set the parameters here. And we're trying to hold closely to those without having to go to stronger mandates or other things.”
Wasatch County is under a yellow COVID alert. In recent days, there has been a spike in numbers hitting four and five positive cases per day.