This last week has brought record daily COVID-19 case increases. On Wednesday, June 10, 2020 another 305 Utahns tested positive for the coronavirus, with an additional death.
Since the state has been tracking the virus, a total of 12,864 Utahns have tested positive and 954 have required hospital care.
Why are we seeing more cases?
“If you look at the incubation period of the virus, so 7-to-10 days, Memorial Day falls right in the middle of that,” said Todd Vento, MD, medical director of Intermountain Healthcare’s TeleHealth Infectious Disease Service. “So, I think what you are seeing is the result of loosening of social restrictions and people getting out in the community in large groups.”
The Utah Department of Health has reported a continued increase in cases, particularly in Washington County and Cache County,
Although we are seeing more cases reported, testing remains stable.
“Intermountain Healthcare is testing 2,500 to 4,000 people a day across the state,” said Dr. Vento.
“If we were to go out and screen a large group of asymptomatic people, we would find more cases, but you’re also going to see our testing numbers go way up. So that’s not what we’re seeing. What we’re seeing is a true legitimate increase in cases, with testing practices relatively remaining unchanged.”
Who should be tested?
To find out if you should be tested, call the COVID-19 hotline at 844-442-5224. Calling ahead allows a medical professional to assess your symptoms over the phone and determine if you should be tested for COVID-19. You will likely be referred to one of 24 Intermountain Healthcare testing locations across the state if you have one of the COVID-19 symptoms:
· Difficulty breathing
· Muscle aches and chills
· Decreased sense of smell or taste
· Sore throat
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to fourteen days after exposure.
How can we all help bring our case count down?
Intermountain Healthcare doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are working diligently around the clock to care for patients and do everything possible to stem the tide of COVID-19. But this critical work can’t be accomplished alone.
The CDC recommends that face coverings – when combined with good hand hygiene and social distancing – can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in a community. Face coverings can limit the spread of germs from the face covering wearer to others by helping block large droplets from coughs and sneezes.
“Even if you are outside, enjoying Utah’s national parks and beautiful mountains, you can stay safe,” said Dr. Vento. “Just avoid the crowded areas, don’t touch the handrails then touch your face, and wear your face covering if you are in a large group of people.”
If you’re feeling unwell, the best way to protect loved ones and the public from contracting the Coronavirus is by using the same six daily habits that help prevent the spread of many viruses, including the common cold and the flu:
· Physical Contact – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Keep Hands Clean – Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 15 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid Touching Face – Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Have a Cough or Cold? – Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
· Clean Surfaces – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Feeling Sick? – Stay home when you’re sick.