SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Governor Gary Herbert announced the creation of a task force to mitigate the potential spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 in Utah.

Herbert said Lt. Governor Spencer Cox would head up the task force which will be comprised of government, civic and business leaders, as well as health professionals. Its mission is to monitor and coordinate collective efforts to protect Utahns from the COVID-19.

Cox implored Utahns, organizations, and businesses to talk about their own plan in the event a quarantine would arise. “Everyone should have a plan in place if and when you need to implement that plan,” said Cox.

Dr. Angela Dunn the State Epidemiologist at Utah Department of Health reiterated that the current risk to Utahns for COVID-19 is “low.”

Dunn said the Department of Health is working to identify anyone in Utah who could possibly have the COVID-19 virus. Dunn said so far, the state has tested 17 Utahns for COVID-19. Fifteen of those tests were negative, and two results are still pending.

The department is also actively monitoring at least 65 individuals who were deemed to be at-risk for contracting COVID-19. These mainly include travelers from mainland China coming to Utah. All of these individuals are maintaining quarantine in their homes in the event that they do test positive for COVID-19.

When Dunn was asked why Utahns should take a COVID-19 outbreak more seriously than a flu epidemic she said it’s because “we know a heck of a lot more about the flu than we know about COVID-19.” While the viruses have similarities, many questions and uncertainties surround COVID-19.

All these unknowns call for a greater level of preparedness Dunn said.

The Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force will provide updated information at and on Twitter @Utahcoronavirus.