Weber County prepares for possible spread of coronavirus

Local News

WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – There are three confirmed cases of coronavirus, COVID-19 in Utah, according to the Utah Department of Health and the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

One patient confirmed with the virus lives in the Weber-Morgan health district. They are older than 60 and in serious but stable condition at Intermountain McKay Dee Hospital, according to Utah health officials.

ABC4’s Jordan Verdadeiro spoke to local agencies about how Weber County is preparing for the coronavirus virus or COVID-19 pandemic.

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Brian Bennion, executive director of the Weber-Morgan health department says even though there’s one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Weber Co. there is no reason to be alarmed because there is no threat of community spread right now. 

Bennion says meetings between Weber-Morgan health department leaders have become more frequent.

“We were meeting just once a week, now we’re meeting several times a week and as needed as cases come up. As you know, we will be having some people from the cruise ship come back and we are making plans for that to make sure all the precautions are being taken care of so they can get back into their homes and be safe,” said Bennion.

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Bennion says their focus is contact tracing. He says local agencies will be ready to take care of patients in Weber-Morgan hospitals.

“Then we reach out to their contacts, we work with those that are ill, and make sure that they’re monitored and that they’re also tested as needed,” said Bennion.

Bennion says the department will also be paying attention to school absenteeism.

“You know just a week ago, the state was the only one doing testing now other health care facilities are doing that,” said Bennion.

The executive director of the Lantern House homeless shelter says in northern Utah, the homeless elders have the highest risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We’ve taken extra precaution in how we’re handing out meals and how we are having people sleep,” said Executive Director of The Lantern House Lauren Navidomskis.

She says about 300 people are staying at the shelter, and, no matter what, they have to stay open. She says they are prepared to take homeless patients in their Midtowns community health centers hope clinic.

“As for the 14-day quarantine, we have identified certain areas of the facility that we could put an individual that may be identified with the virus,” said Navidomskis.

The executive director of the Lantern House says it is also working to educate clients on proper hygiene to prevent the spread.

Bennion says anyone in the Weber-Morgan district should contact the COVID-19 information line for questions. That number is 1-800-456-7707.

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