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Tri-County Health Department apologizes for inappropriate text

Jun 9, 2021, 11:50 AM | Updated: 4:59 pm
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File: Area residents line up for a vaccine clinic at Uintah High School on Apr. 22, 2021. Photo: Tri-County Health Department via Facebook

VERNAL, Utah — The Tri-County Health Department, which serves Uintah, Duchesne and Daggett counties, apologized this week for a vulgar text sent to some of its users, apparently from a third-party. 

Vulgar text message did not come from health officials

In a Facebook post, the health department said the message came from a private texting service. The health department hired the company to help spread information about COVID-19 vaccines. Apparently, an employee of that company replied to that message with a text that included “inappropriate, offensive and vulgar language.”

The health department said the texts went to 52 people. 

 

One commenter said she got the message.

“Ya, it was very vulgar! Pretty disgusting actually!” said Autumn Reynolds Hancock. 

Health department, company apologize

The health department officials said they fired that texting company but that they had vetted them with other agencies in Utah.

“The inappropriate language and responses were NOT approved by either the TCHD or UDOH and we sincerely apologize to everyone who received the messages. As important as the vaccines are to the health of our community, we will find other ways to continue to educate the public as to the importance of receiving the vaccine,” the post stated.

People who received the vulgar health department text then received another message from Public Results, apologizing as well. The company said the text came from a bad actor.

According to Tri-County Health officials, the apology read: 

“Hi, this is Jessica with Public Results, a private texting service. You recently received a text in error on behalf of Tri-County Health Department that was not approved by the Department. This text was sent by a bad actor, and it is in no way reflective of the professionalism and mission of TCHD. I am so sorry for the message you received and any harm it may have caused.”

Neither the health department nor Public Results disclosed the contents of the message. 

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Tri-County Health Department apologizes for inappropriate text