COVID-19: VACCINE WATCH

State launches COVID-19 self-declaration directive, Utahns near borders have complaints

Apr 10, 2020, 6:00 PM
State launches COVID-19 travel declaration, Utahns near borders have complaints...
(Overhead sign by the Utah/Wyoming border. Credit: Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News, April 10, 2020)
(Overhead sign by the Utah/Wyoming border. Credit: Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News, April 10, 2020)

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – The governor’s COVID-19 self-declaration directive is now in effect.  State officials are asking people driving and flying into the state to give them a brief history of their health and travel.  However, they’re not expecting the system to run perfectly on the first day.

People living near the border of Utah may notice a lot more text alerts on their phone than normal.  One family in St. George tells KSL they’ve received repeated texts since the alerts were pushed out Friday afternoon, even though they’ve just been sitting at home.  They describe the alert as “the loud, obnoxious Amber Alert beeping sound” which can’t be turned off.

(Sample of text alert. Credit: Marc Giauque, KSL Newsradio)

This is one of the problems state officials were worried may happen on the first day of the COVID-19 self-declaration directive.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jess Anderson says, “Some of you who are innocent and not wanting to receive those notifications may receive a notification.”

Anderson says the system will get more accurate over time, but why would a glitch like this happen in the first place?

“There are times when a cell phone tower that is well outside of the designated alerting area may still receive that message and may broadcast it,” explains Department of Emergency Management Spokesman Joe Dougherty.

State officials are also trying to clear up some questions about the tech used to send out the messages.  Dougherty says it’s a system they’ve used for several years, called WebEOC and it’s one of the programs designed to work with systems set up by FEMA and the FCC to send out critical information.  However, Dougherty says they don’t track which cell phones get the alert.

He says, “Cell phones that happen to enter the geo-fenced area are pinged just with that alert.  We retain no data on cell phones.  We won’t even know how many people actually received that message.”

People who click on the link in the text are then asked to fill out the COVID-19 self-declaration travel form, which asks people if they’ve been tested for coronavirus if they feel any symptoms and where they’ve been in the past two weeks.  Dougherty says that information is sent securely to the Department of Health, so they can better trace the movement of the virus.

Safety officials say filling out the declaration is still completely voluntary, plus, some groups of people won’t be asked to do it.  Commissioner Anderson says active military, health care providers, state workers and commercial truck drivers are exempt.

“It’s not to effect commerce or the trucking industry as far as coming and going out of the state.”

State officials say there are no checkpoints at the state borders, and traffic will not be slowed down at all.

 

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: 

 

LOCAL: 

State of Utah:  https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

National Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States 

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19: Vaccine Watch

A sign reading "immunizations" hangs over a desk. COVID-19 vaccines Utah...
Samantha Herrera

Where to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider for children 5 and under in Utah

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as 6 months old, but where can you find a vaccine provider for your child in Utah?
14 days ago
A child is comforted after getting his COVID-19 vaccine....
Samantha Herrera

More COVID-19 vaccines ordered in Utah for children as young as 6 months

32,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older have been ordered by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
15 days ago
This combination of 2022 and 2020 file  photos shows logos for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...
LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Marathon US hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for tots

On Wednesday, both Moderna and Pfizer will argue their case. Each company aims to offer a different dose and number of shots.
27 days ago
FILE - A vial of the Phase 3 Novavax coronavirus vaccine is seen ready for use in the trial at St. ...
LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press

New vaccine may be option for troops with religious concerns

At least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine. Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
28 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
1 month ago
COVID-19 vaccine...
KEVIN McGILL

Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing

Mr. Biden issued an order Sept. 9 that more than 3.5 million federal executive branch workers undergo vaccination, with no option to get regularly tested.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
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.
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.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
State launches COVID-19 self-declaration directive, Utahns near borders have complaints