BEAVER, Utah — In the daily numbers for COVID-19 released by the Utah Department of Health are a handful of communities that still have yet to record any lab-confirmed cases.
Beaver, Rich, Wayne, Piute and Daggett counties have not recorded a single confirmed case of novel coronavirus, at least according to numbers published by their respective health departments.
"It’s possible in smaller, rural counties that we have not identified positive cases through laboratory testing," the Utah Department of Health said in a statement. "However, we would fully expect that there are unidentified positive cases in all Utah counties."
Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney said some believe it has already come through the community months ago (I-15 runs right through the county), and others who disagree. He said they follow directives from the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and Utah Department of Health, and community leaders meet regularly to discuss the appropriate precautions.
"I want to hand it to our great people in acting responsibly, and taking it seriously," Commissioner Whitney said.
The counties without recorded cases are also some of the lowest population in the state. Social distancing is a lot easier, Commissioner Whitney said.
"You can see, this is what I call social distancing," he said in an interview with FOX 13 over Zoom, with a view of open spaces behind him. "I’m here on my farm, my ranch, and no one within a half mile. And we are, I think that has a lot to do with it."
Unlike places along the heavily populated Wasatch Front, Beaver County hasn't had to issue some of the same restrictions. For example, Commissioner Whitney said, they did not have to close Minersville Reservoir, even welcoming visitors. They just urged people who wanted to go fishing to exercise some social distancing.
"It’s one of the best fishing holes in the state of Utah and people are loving it right now," he said. "But we’re making sure people are acting responsibly."