TriCounty Health announces first COVID-19 case in the Uintah Basin

Case believed to be community-acquired transmission
Posted at 11:08 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 13:08:34-04

VERNAL, Utah — The TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) announced Wednesday its first resident in Uintah County to test positive for COVID-19.

The case is believed to be the result of community-acquired transmission with recent travel to the Wasatch Front.

“While this is our first case, we do not anticipate it being our last. We are asking people not to panic but to remain vigilant regarding their personal hygiene, physical distancing, and staying home at the first sign of symptoms,” said TriCounty Health Medical Advisor, Dr. Karl Breitenbach. “Minimizing travel, even within our community, will lower the risk to yourself and others.”

The patient is an adult male over the age of 18 and under the age of 60. The patient is not hospitalized and is currently recovering at home. Due to medical privacy laws, TCHD will not release further information about this case.

“When talking about community-acquired, we simply mean that through our investigation we are unable to link this case to any other confirmed positives,” TriCounty Health Officer, Jordan Mathis, explained.

TCHD is currently notifying appropriate locations and individuals of potential exposure. TCHD is instructing those with potential exposure to this case to quarantine at home. Local public health employees will monitor those in quarantine for symptoms. Symptoms may include cough, fever over 100° F, or shortness of breath.

Quarantine at home means individuals should not leave home for ANY reason, except when advised by their health care provider to seek medical care in person. They should not go to work, school, or any public place, including stores, theatres, restaurants, or any other retail establishment. They should not visit family or friends or have any visitors at home.

TCHD recommends those potentially exposed households clean frequently touched surfaces in their homes every day; this includes counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Additional recommendations for all residents include frequent handwashing, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, and stay home when you are sick.

If a potentially affected household notices symptoms in anyone in their home, they should isolate the ill person away from the other members of the household and contact a health care provider via telephone. Do not seek medical care in person without first contacting the facility in advance to receive instructions.

Most people with COVID-19 experience only mild illness. People over the age of 60 and those with other health concerns are more likely to develop serious illness.