intermountain healthcare

COVID-19 cases have stayed low in Utah despite Memorial Day weekend celebrations two weeks ago.



Even with the return to outdoor celebrations like Memorial Day, Utah didn’t see a dramatic spike in cases, according to infectious disease expert at Intermountain Healthcare Eddie Stenejhem.


On The Mountain Life, Brent Wursten, Emergency Room RN at Intermountain Healthcare, joins the show to provide some safety precautions when it comes to recreating in the mountains, including important mountain biking safety tips that could keep you out of the emergency room this summer.


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Park City Hospital owner Intermountain Healthcare announced on Monday, April 5, that the hospital system will allow visitors for all patients at its facilities as COVID-19 case rates decline in Utah.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, hospitals disallowed all patient visitors regardless of the severity of illness. Many of the more than half a million Americans who died from COVID-19 did so alone due to hospital visitor restrictions.



Holiday COVID-19 case counts are predicted to spike upward. Officials plan to increase testing, and with that, they’re expecting higher positivity rates. Utah is ninth in the country for positive test counts per 100,000 people.

Intermountain Healthcare Infectious Disease expert Dr. Todd Vento reported the seven-day average COVID-19 case count is approximately 2700. This represents a 29% positivity rate. He said details are limited due to the holiday period, and he expects to see larger increases in case counts in the coming weeks.

Intermountain Healthcare

Heber Valley Hospital completed a five-year renovation project earlier this month expanding bed capacity and the overall size of the facility.



Intermountain’s Heber Valley Hospital and Heber Valley Clinic now have a larger capacity for patients and surgeries after a completed expansion. 


The hospital is now a third larger and bed capacity has been increased by 16%. The project added healthcare services and upgraded medical equipment capabilities. 


Mason Law, a doctor of physical therapy at Intermountain Park City Hospital, joins Lynn on The Mountain Life to talk about biking and skiing, two of his favorite topics, and how he helps his clients get stronger, stay injury free and recover in the case that injury does occur.

Intermountain Healthcare

Intensive Care Units in Utah are already at the threshold for capacity. And with the Thanksgiving holiday, healthcare providers are preparing for another surge in cases.

Eddie Stenehjem is an infectious disease expert at Intermountain Healthcare. During a press conference he said Thanksgiving could be a possible super spreader holiday.

“We absolutely worry that Thanksgiving will lead to increase community transmission, which will further our hospitalizations and that increased community transmission will continue through the Christmas holiday,” Stenehjem said.

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Hospitals in Utah are nearing 88% ICU capacity. Health officials consider 85% capacity to be full after factoring in things like availability of staff and PPE. 

Intermountain Healthcare has already started to postpone some surgeries in hospitals down in the valley. But they haven’t had to cancel any surgeries in their Park City or Heber Valley Hospital locations.

KPCW's Consolidated coverage of Coronavirus - COVID-19 for Summit County and Wasatch County Utah with rendering of virus from the CDC
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Utah Governor Gary Herbert addressed Utah’s Latinx community today on Tuesday to give an update on the state’s COVID-19 response and the new statewide health guidance levels.


According to the most recent data, the Latinx community makes up just over 14% of Utah’s population but currently accounts for 28.5% of total COVID-19 cases. Pacific Islanders have been the hardest hit demographic, making up 1.6% of the population and 3.3% of positive cases.


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Intermountain Healthcare — which operates the Park City Hospital — plans to merge with another not-for-profit healthcare system. 



Intermountain announced their intent to merge with Sanford Health, which is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

In a press release about the partnership, the CEO and President of Intermountain, Marc Harrison said “through coordinated care, increased use of telehealth and digital health services, we will make healthcare more affordable for our communities.”

Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare is moving away from the dreaded nasal swab COVID-19 test and transitioning to a saliva-based test at all of its sites in Utah. 

Intermountain will collect samples from patients over the age of six. And facilities will still offer the nasal swab for children five years and younger and for people who can’t produce enough saliva.

Brandon Webb is an infectious disease physician for Intermountain. At a community update last week, he said other than the way the sample is collected, the test will stay the same. 

Today on the Local News Hour, Carolyn is joined by Brooke Porter Cole from Utah Department of Workforce Services talks about the trends in unemployment claims. (10:04)  Then, Park City High School Junior Caroline Waldman from the Junior National Honor Society discusses the changes they’re making to the annual Memorial Day 5K race this year due to the social distancing orders in place. (27:25) And to end the week, Intermountain Healthcare Immunologist Dr.

By 10:15am Saturday morning, at least 50 people had lined up in front of Park City High School for COVID-19 testing at a mobile unit set up by Intermountain Healthcare.  

Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare is prepared to take additional steps to address the expected increase in the number of COVID-19 patients over the coming weeks – even months. That plan was announced Tuesday. 

Intermountain Health Care

Wasatch County Council held their nightly COVID-19 Coronavirus update on Thursday evening. The council heard from both county health experts and the local hospital administrator.