SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — State health officials on Saturday confirmed the first instance of "community spread" of COVID-19 in Utah.
The patient, identified as a male Summit County resident between the ages of 18 and 60, is an employee of The Spur Bar and Grill on Park City's Main Street, according to the Utah Department of Health. He had no history of travel and no known contact with any person who has been confirmed to have coronavirus.
Cortney Johanson, owner representative of The Spur Bar and Grill in Park City, gave a statement to FOX 13 in response, saying:
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.
Out of an abundance of caution, please be advised we are closing 350 Main for a short time. If you had reservations tonight or tomorrow, we apologize for any inconvenience and please understand this decision has not been made lightly.
If you have reservations in the near future, we will keep you notified as the present situation in our community continues to unfold.
Thank you for your understanding.
The employee is currently recovering from his illness, the health department said.
Public health officials have interviewed the patient and believe the biggest potential risk is to his co-workers, the health department said. The patient’s job at the bar did not require him to interact for extended periods of time with customers.
“The patient’s employer has been extremely cooperative, and willingly closed last night to conduct a thorough cleaning of the establishment,” said Dr. Rich Bullough, executive director of the Summit County Health Department. “We have identified the case’s co-workers and are working to contact and interview all of them."
Health officials do not believe there is a high risk to patrons of the bar. However, they encouraged anyone who visited the Spur Bar and Grill since March 6 to monitor themselves for symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
UDOH said nine people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Utah. No deaths have been reported. Globally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is roughly 150,000 with approximately, 5,600 deaths.
“This is the first case of community transmission (of coronavirus) 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 UDOH. “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.”
From the Utah Department of Health:
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.