SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – UPDATE: Health officials announced the first case of COVID-19 in Utah on Friday, March 6.
Salt Lake County health officials say doctors are investigating 15 cases where the patient’s symptoms aligned with the coronavirus.
As of Thursday health officials said 10 of those cases tested negative and five people are awaiting results. Officials say those people awaiting results are either isolated or quarantined.
“We do monitor people because people travel,” Doctor Dagmar Vitek said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel bans are issued for Iran, China, South Korea, and Italy.
“So when people come back and say ‘Okay, I traveled to Italy and I have a fever and a cough’,” Doctor Vitek said. “We work with those people we do not test them but we tell them to isolate and we will call you every single day.”
County health officials say 80 percent of people who catch the Coronavirus will have mild symptoms.
Officials said Wednesday, the CDC relaxed rules around testing for the virus.
“We can test people who are not hospitalized which is going to be a huge help for us,” Doctor Vitek said.
In response to the potential spread, lawmakers have issued a “No Handshaking Zone” at the Utah State Capitol.
In addition, Utah Valley University canceled men’s and woman’s basketball games on Saturday, March 7, 2020 against Chicago State. CSU has travel concerns related to the virus.
“There is going to be canceling of mass gatherings in the future,” Doctor Vitek said. “We will see more and more people not going to theaters, and not going to games.”
Last week, state health officials announced how hospitals and public health systems are prepared for a potential outbreak.
A Utah Coronavirus website, phone number, and social media has been set up for those who have questions or concerns. If you’re worried about whether you may have COVID-19 call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.
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