Sunday, March 15: Latest Utah news about COVID-19 coronavirus
SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 coronavirus on Sunday. As of Sunday afternoon, March 15, that brings the Utah total to 21. That number does not include seven people in Utah diagnosed with the virus, who are not Utah residents.
The vast majority, 14, is in Salt Lake County. But as of Sunday afternoon, the Utah Health Department reports the only case of community-spread COVID-19 is in Summit County. The infected person worked as a doorman at the Spur Bar & Grill and has not traveled or had known contact with a COVID-19-infected person.
Testing for those already screened
For people who have already been screened and approved for testing, University of Utah Health will offer that testing. To limit exposure to health care workers and to those in hospitals, the testing will be conducted in tents in front of University of Utah health locations in South Jordan, Sugar House, and Farmington.
Two of Salt Lake County’s large convention centers will close until further notice.
In an email, Salt Lake County government announced that the Salt Palace Convention Center and the Mountain America Expo Center will be closed as of Monday, March 16, until further notice.
In the email, Salt Lake County government indicated that these steps are being taken even though, at the time of publication, the county is not experiencing community transmission.
The County defined the closures as being in line with a recommendation from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert that mass gatherings exceeding 100 people be canceled as of Monday. The County further calls the closures “precautionary measures to prevent potential spread of the disease [COVID-19 coronavirus.]”
The Davis school district has provided parents with information regarding how instruction will continue in the district for the next two weeks. On Friday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a soft closure of all public and charter schools, beginning Monday, March 16.
In a posting on Facebook, the Utah Attorney General’s office announced it has received complaints of price gouging in Utah, specifically for items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Utah law stipulates that price gouging during a state of emergency is against the law.
On Sunday, Snowbasin and Sun Valley ski resorts announced they will close for the season, beginning Monday, March 15. They cite the safety of their employees and guests as the reason for the early closure.
On the other hand, Brian Head resort will remain open to the public. In an email, the resort says it is monitoring the situation closely and continues to follow guidance from the CDC as well as federal, state, and local authorities. As of publication date, there were no known active cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Iron County, Utah, where Brian Head is located.
The resort admits this is a fast-changing and evolving situation and that if the situations changes they could be required to suspend or close operations with little or no advance notice.
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
Resources for more information:
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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