HEALTH

Preparing for Coronavirus… how hospitals are bracing for its arrival

Feb 27, 2020, 6:22 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 9:10 am
(UDOH Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Miner, answering questions about Coronavirus.  Credit: Paul Ne...
(UDOH Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Miner, answering questions about Coronavirus. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(UDOH Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Miner, answering questions about Coronavirus. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Hospitals in Utah are bracing for the inevitable.  Doctors from health care officials all over the state are trying to tell everyone that they have plans and supplies ready to go when the Corona virus finally arrives in Utah.  Even though there aren’t any cases here, yet, they’re preparing as if its arrival is definitely going to happen.

The good news is that the Coronavirus, COVID-19, has a lower mortality rate than other dangerous viruses, like SARS.  The bad news, according to Utah Department of Health Executive Director Joseph Miner, is that far more people were infected with Coronavirus and spreading it to others while they didn’t know it.

Dr. Miner says, “Even with just a two percent mortality rate, if you have many, many more infected you’re having a lot more deaths.  That’s what we’re seeing with this.”

Administrators from MountainStar Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Steward Health Care System, University of Utah Hospital, Primary Children’s Hospital, Utah Medical Association and the Utah Hospital Association all joined at UDOH headquarters to explain their plans of action if anyone in the state tests positive for the virus.  Most of them stated they already had pandemic policies in place for situations like this.

Even though there aren’t any reports of the virus in Utah, a recent case in California has forced health workers to step up their efforts.

“The identity of community transmission in the U.S. puts us on a higher alert,” according to UDOH Epidemiologist Angela Dunn.

The California patient is especially concerning to Dunn since that person didn’t have any known connection to people who have traveled to China or South Korea.

The best ways to prevent the spread of any virus are the well-known methods of washing your hands properly and staying home when sick.  However, Dunn says there are things the community can do if an outbreak actually happens here.

Dunn says, “These would be measures designed to limit social interactions.  So, things like school closures, cancelling of church services and cancelling of mass gatherings.”

Hospitals have been preparing for pandemics for many years.  Some of them prepared for a possible outbreak of the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2016.  Also, the state has the Utah Disaster Advisory Committee, which helps health care companies share information in times of crisis.

“We know each other and have each other’s cell phone numbers.  We’ve long been effective for many years,” says Utah Hospital Association President Greg Bell.

If someone tests positive, UDOH officials would tell the press within 24 hours.  Doctors say the Utahns who had tested positive while overseas will not need to be quarantined or get any treatment after they test negative twice for Coronavirus.

 

Related Links

Today’s Top Stories

Health

university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
1 day ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
3 days ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
3 days ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
3 days ago
Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare purchases land near Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
4 days ago
At 5800 So. 1400 W. you find an irrigation canal that attracts  a lot of waterfowl, seagulls and ev...
Mark Jones

Officials warn of additional cases of avian influenza

With the fall migration of wild waterfowl, state officials are warning bird owners to be prepared for additional cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or avian influenza.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Preparing for Coronavirus… how hospitals are bracing for its arrival