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Some people tried to get into a Utah hospital because of a false COVID-19 conspiracy theory

Coronavirus
Posted at 4:23 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 18:23:19-05

PROVO, Utah — Some people have been attempting to get into Utah Valley Hospital recently in an effort to "prove" a false theory that hospitals are not busy as a result of COVID-19.

The hospital recently reported during a Provo City Council meeting "that a few individuals without a medical need have attempted to gain physical access to the facility with the intent try to confirm fake conspiracy theories – such as hospitals are not busy and that reports of the COVID-19 surge are false."

It was unclear if anyone was arrested or cited for the disturbances.

"Hospital staff have also fielded some telephone calls regarding similar false conspiracy theories. Although these situations are few and isolated, stopping attempts to gain inappropriate access and responding to fake conspiracy theories diverts attention from providing lifesaving care provided at the hospitals," Intermountain Healthcare, which operates Utah Valley Hospital, said in a statement to FOX 13's Spencer Joseph.

"COVID-19 is real and the hospital is seeing large increases in patients with the virus. Staff are stretched and are working many extra hours to meet community needs. We ask the public to join with us, mask up, wash hands, social distance, and stay home when sick so we can care overcome the challenges of this pandemic in our communities."

On Thursday, Utah saw its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day — nearly 4,000 and nine new deaths. Hospital capacity is at 87%, meaning many medical centers are running out of places and staff to take care of those who contract the deadly virus.