HEALTH

Utah Dept. of Health announces new state epidemiologist

Jun 3, 2021, 10:16 AM | Updated: 10:21 am
utah state epidemiologist dr. leisha nolen...
Dr. Leisha Nolen (Utah Dept. of Health)
(Utah Dept. of Health)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health has named a new state epidemiologist after Dr. Angela Dunn stepped down earlier this year. 

On Thursday, the department named Dr. Leisha Nolen as the new Utah state epidemiologist. The department said she comes to Utah from the CDC’s Arctic Investigations Program, based in Anchorage, Alaska where she worked to address infectious disease health disparities among the Alaska Native population.

“The Utah Department of Health has such an outstanding reputation among public health professionals, and I am excited to get to work with this great group of individuals to help improve the health of the residents of Utah,” said Nolen. “As I get to know Utah and its different health challenges, I hope to find ways that my training and experience can contribute to the programs and teams already in place.”

Nolen earned her MD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

“The state epidemiologist plays such a critical role in identifying and addressing health concerns in Utah,” said Rich Saunders, UDOH executive director. “We’re fortunate to have Dr. Nolen joining our team. Her background and previous experience ensures she’ll be able to smoothly and quickly integrate with our pandemic response team and also with our broader public health priorities and partners.”

Nolen will officially begin her role on July 6.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, 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.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • 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).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

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 Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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