Coronavirus in Utah: Who is contracting the virus?

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Utah (ABC4 News) — It’s easy to think that only the elderly or vulnerable populations will contract the COVID-19 or coronavirus. Though specific information on individuals who have tested positive is limited, the confirmed cases in Utah show that even the young and healthy are at risk.

Health officials discovered Utah’s first known case of coronavirus, or COVID-19 on March 6, 2020.

Utah Health officials identified the patient as a resident of Davis County who is over 60 years old and was exposed to COVID-19 while on a recent cruise. 

At the time, health officials said the patient was recovering at home and was under a county-issued isolation order.

Following the first recorded case, Utah’s numbers continued to grow. From March 6 to March 24 the state’s cases have grown from 1 to 298 with 13 are out-of-state visitors.

Utah Jazz players, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, were two of the first Utahns to test positive for the virus on March 11, 2020. Following the positive tests, the NBA decided to suspend all games in light of the pandemic.

A staff member and graduate student of the University of Utah tested positive for COVID-19 on March 14, 2020.

University of Utah officials said the employee, who works in the Counseling Center at the Student Services Building, is self-isolating off-campus.

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Utah Congressman, Ben McAdams announced he tested positive on March 18, 2020. “I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak,” said McAdams in a prepared statement Wednesday evening.

Since then, McAdams has been admitted to the hospital where he is continuing to recover.

A student-athlete at Weber State University tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20, 2020.

The University told ABC4 News they are working closely with public health officials to support a full and speedy recovery for the student.

The student is a member of the Weber State track and field team and lives off-campus. The student reportedly had initial exposure from a non-student friend after classes were canceled and is in current self-isolation, school officials said.

A Hill Air Force Base employee outside of the 388th Fighter Wing tested positive for Coronavirus on March 20, 2020 and is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals.

Hill AFB declared a public health emergency and is in “Health Protection Condition Bravo,” officials say.

Senator Luz Escamilla tested positive for COVID-19 on March 22, 2020. Senator Escamilla issued in a statement that as a person with asthma, the diagnosis is scary. However, she said she is aware of those in vulnerable populations at this time.

Her testing positive also encouraged Capitol officials to make some changes. The Capitol closed to the public following the general session, all legislative offices began teleworking to prevent the spread of the virus and Capitol facilities and the entire Capitol complex were thoroughly disinfected.

The Utah Department of Health announced Utah’s first COVID-19 death on March 22, 2020.

Utah Department of Health officials said at the time his death, the patient was being treated at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful.

The patient is a male, was older than 60 and was a resident of Davis County. He had underlying medical conditions and was hospitalized for two days prior to his death.  

“‘We do anticipate a greater spread of COVID-19 in Utah,” health officials said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the best way to eliminate the spread of coronavirus is to do your best to not come in contact with it.

There is no current vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The virus is spread person-to-person through close contact, which means within about 6-feet.

Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah’s state epidemiologist, said that if Utahns continue to take social distancing seriously, overtime it will reduce the spread of coronavirus.

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