Confusion over increasing COVID-19 cases in Utah County

Sep 21, 2020, 4:03 PM | Updated: 6:30 pm
Utah Schools COVID-19...
School is back in session today for most districts across the state, which has some worried about a potential spike in coronavirus cases following Thanksgiving break. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio)

UTAH COUNTY — College-age students are receiving blame for the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Utah County. But, secondary schools are also seeing COVID-19 numbers jump since the school year began.

Aislynn Tollman-Hill, a spokeswoman for Utah County Health Department, said it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where students are contracting the virus.

We certainly have a lot of students involved in extracurricular activities,” said Tollman-Hill. “So, not only are they interacting with each other in the school setting, but they also have lots of other activities.”

COVID-19 cases linked to schools 

Brigham Young University (BYU) spokesman Todd Hollingshead issued a statement saying “we believe the COVID cases are being contracted off-campus.

“Because the contract tracing data shows that COVID-19 cases aren’t occurring in classrooms or from on-campus services,” explained Hollingshead. 

When asked to provide the data, Hollingshead said the “information is not publicly available.”

While Tollman-Hill didn’t discount students contracting COVID-19 outside of campus, she did mention no one would want an uptick of infections linked to an institution. 

You wouldn’t necessarily want to have that associated with your own organization,” said Tollman-Hill. ” You know, that could be problematic in some ways,” specifically referring to why some schools are so certain coronavirus wasn’t contracted in their buildings.

Although, one particular dance party in Provo last month is suspected of spreading the virus in Utah County.

Dr. Todd Vento, infectious diseases specialist, spoke on KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic and stated “several positive coronavirus cases have been linked directly to schools.”

Pinpointing where the cases are coming from

Tollman-Hill says they’re unable to pinpoint how students are getting infected. However, the Salt Lake County Health Department has a break down of which schools have positive cases.

I don’t believe that they’re doing contact tracing any differently,” said Tollman-Hill. “But, they might be defining their outbreaks a little bit differently than we are.”

So far, BYU has disciplined 15 students for not following the university’s coronavirus guidelines. Health officials have reiterated social distancing and masks are the best way to protect others from the virus.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Ja...
Waverly Golden

Three vehicle crash in Sanpete County leaves one dead

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
19 hours ago
Tyre Nichols Protests...
Nouran Salahieh, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose and Phil Gast, CNN

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
19 hours ago
Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
19 hours ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
19 hours ago
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
2 days ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Confusion over increasing COVID-19 cases in Utah County