State epidemiologist concerned about potential surge, working to prevent it

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As businesses continue to re-open and more people are out and about, the state epidemiologist said she’s concerned about the public’s safety.

“My concern, of course, about re-opening is that we see a surge in cases,” Dunn said. “And we’re doing everything we can to prevent that with the guidelines we’ve set forth, with having high-capacity for testing and contact tracing.”

Dunn said testing and contact tracing are methods used to limit the spread, and to hopefully eliminate a surge.

“So, as we kind of roll from red to orange, and things start opening up a little more, we’re still going to rely on people being smart, in terms of their exposures and where they go,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist. “And protecting themselves and vulnerable friends and family members from being exposed to COVID-19.”

Dunn said it’s through tracing methods the that public health officials know the number of community spread cases have dropped in the Beehive State, and also other known factors about how/where people have been exposed:

  • 11% community spread
  • 60% someone within same household
  • 25% someone they know outside home
  • 4% in workplace

And while Dunn is concerned about a potential spike, she said they’re doing all they can to prevent it, while balancing public health recommendation with what other experts recommend.

“Because this public health pandemic certainly crosses sectors and so the governor has to take all those policy recommendations into consideration before setting his ultimate policy,” Dunn said. “So, in public health, we’ll stand ready with our testing and contact tracing and continue to prevent spread – especially among our vulnerable population.”

Dunn encourages the public to continue to maintain social distancing and wear a mask if that’s not possible.  

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