The table below illustrates the number of cases by county and age group in our health district. This table will be updated daily. Due to lag times in reporting, our case totals may be different than what is reflected on coronavirus.utah.gov. Please check back daily. NOTE: the hospitalization numbers are individuals currently being hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment. For cumulative hospitalizations please visit coronavirus.utah.gov. Recoveries are estimated – individuals who tested positive 3 weeks ago and have not died are considered recovered.
New cases do not include positive antibody tests, or presumed cases – only active infections as verified by lab testing. To see the number of cases in Utah, click HERE. To see the number of cases worldwide, click HERE.
The graph shown above is updated weekly. The total positive tests are current as of August 2, 2020. Negative tests are current as reported on August 2, 2020.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S WEEKLY UPDATE
August 3, 2020
I recently saw a hat that said “Bye COVID.” I really liked the optimism that this simple phrase suggested.
I know that many of the challenges brought on by COVID are not all positive. In fact, many of the messages we receive through various forms of media can wear us down and even be destructive to our mental well-being. For this reason, it is important that we reflect on some hopeful and positive things that can strengthen us.
Not too long ago, we had a couple in our health district who were both infected with COVID-19. Both needed hospitalization but were concerned about leaving their home because they had no one to take care of their dog. Two of the BRHD employees investigating their exposure assured them that the dog would be taken care of. While the couple was hospitalized, these employees brought the dog into their homes and cared for this beloved pet until the couple was released from the hospital.
I know there are many kind acts going on around us. I want to express my appreciation for those who so quietly go about helping others during this difficult time.
We may not know exactly when this challenge will be over, but we do know that a good portion is behind us. Each day gets us closer to the victory over this disease.
COVID may kick us in the knee but it will not paralyze our ability to heal and become stronger. Deciding to succeed is half the battle, the other half is the follow through. At the BRHD, we are committed to contributing to a healthier and brighter future with each new day.
“Thank you for all that you do as individuals, families and communities and your courage to look forward with optimism. The future holds everything hopeful for us.”
Lloyd Berentzen, Executive Director – Bear River Health Department
PEOPLE WHO NEED EXTRA PRECAUTIONS AGAINST COVID-19
Bear River Health Department is addressing COVID-19 related health inequities by tackling the social determinants of health head-on. The condition in which people live, learn, work, and play contributes to their health. These conditions, over time, lead to different levels of health risk, needs, and outcomes among groups.
According to the CDC, the effects of COVID-19 may have a disproportionate burden of illness and death among some vulnerable populations.
- Groups at higher risk for SEVERE illness include those with underlying health conditions, and people aged 65 years and older.
- Groups at higher risk for DEVELOPING illness include those who are likely to live in densely populated areas; in multi-generational households; and those who work in essential industries or those that may not have access to paid sick leave.
Public health efforts to protect these populations and reduce the incidence of illness has included increased access to testing, providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and comprehensive active monitoring.
what we know about covid-19
Current understanding about COVID-19 is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Currently the thought is that it is mainly spread from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are the most symptomatic (the sickest). For confirmed cases of COVID-19, individuals have been asymptomatic, shown mild symptoms, or even had severe illness leading to hospitalization and death. Symptoms can include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and chills, and decreased sense of smell or taste. The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding COVID-19. For answers to the most frequently asked questions such as “is COVID-19 more serious than the seasonal influenza, are there medicines to prevent COVID-19, should I wear a mask, etc” please click HERE.
Due to medical privacy laws, we do not issue details of a case. Individuals who may have had close contact with confirmed cases will be notified by the health department. When someone in our health district tests positive for COVID-19, our epidemiology team will receive notice from the lab and initiate an investigation. The investigation helps us understand when the patient started having symptoms and when they were likely capable of transmitting the disease to other people. The patient, and all household members, will be asked to remain isolated at home unless they are in need of hospitalization. Everyone that was identified as having significant contact with the patient (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) is interviewed and placed in quarantine at home where they will be monitored for 14 days after the last exposure. There have been rumors about people in the community who were sick, tested positive for COVID-19, or were tested and awaiting results. Often, the people reporting these cases are fearful of being exposed. Our staff works diligently to identify legitimate cases and ensure proper isolation and quarantine of the affected individuals.
As part of our disease investigations, we will reach out to individuals who may have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19. If you receive a message from the health department, please call the cell phone number back or call our epidemiology team during regular business hours at 435.792.6500. If you are a person under investigation, the only information you will be asked is your name, date of birth, address and your email. We will not ask for social security, bank information, etc. The information discussed will be steps needed to protect your health. These are not scam calls.
The BRHD recommends that community members get information about COVID-19 from reliable sources only. We have been made aware of persons on social media who are impersonating the Bear River Health Department. We will investigate instances where individuals portray to be the health department. Any conduct that violates criminal code will be prosecuted.
UTAH’S color-coded RISK PHASEs
Effective May 1, 2020, Governor Herbert has moved the Utah COVID-19 Public Health Risk Status from Red (High Risk) to Orange (Moderate Risk). Effective May 16, 2020, the Bear River Health District will move from Orange (Moderate Risk) to Yellow (Low Risk).
A copy of Governor Herbert’s Executive Order can be found HERE.
Guidelines specific to the moderate-risk and low-risk phases can be found HERE.
Signage for restaurants regarding COVID symptoms and high-risk individuals can be found HERE.
Signage regarding social distancing can be found HERE.
Restaurants, swimming pools, and personal service businesses (body art and tanning) that are regulated by the health department are encouraged to fill out a self assessment form that will guide you through the requirements for your particular business. Please click on the links below to access the form.
There are many options for COVID-19 testing, including drive-thru locations. For information regarding who should be tested, types of tests, or to locate a testing location, click HERE
Bear River Health Department offers COVID-19 antibody tests for a cost of $80. Some insurance providers may reimburse you for the test. Please check with your insurance provider for coverage and reimbursement information. Antibody tests are by appointment only. Please call 435-792-6500 to schedule a time to visit us.
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Please visit the CDC website for face mask patterns, tutorials and instructions.
What Can You Do?
Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging health threat. Individuals can:
STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Make sure you get your flu vaccination each year.
- Practice social distancing.
- Wear a face covering.
The CDC has provided these 10 tips for managing your health at home.
Worksites and businesses can follow these recommendations from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Quarantine is for people who are NOT sick yet and don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 but who MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED. You and everyone in your house may be asked to quarantine if someone who lives in your house has been exposed to the virus. A quarantine keeps you away from others so you don’t infect someone else without knowing it. If you stay quarantined for 14 days, you will most likely not spread COVID-19 to someone else. You should stay in your house and not go around other people. Ask someone else to go to the store for you to get groceries or supplies.
What this looks like. Stay in your house for 14 days. Limit the number of visitors to your home. Clean surfaces that are commonly touched (such as phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops and anything metal) more often. If you get sick while on quarantine, CALL your doctor.
When can you stop being on quarantine: You can stop being on quarantine after 14 days, if you never get sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19.
INFORMATION FOR PERSONS BEING ACTIVELY MONITORED:
- What to do if you are on quarantine or self-isolation for COVID-19
- Qué hacer si estás en cuarentena o en auto-aislamiento por causa del COVID-19
- CDC “If you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick” instructions
Self-isolation is for people who are already SICK or HAVE TESTED POSITIVE for COVID-19. EVERYONE who lives in your house should stay at home if someone in your house tests positive for COVID-19. Self-isolation is for people who are not sick enough to be in the hospital. Your doctor may tell you to recover at home. Isolation keeps sick people away from healthy people to stop sickness from spreading. Even in your home, you should try to stay away from other people as much as possible. Stay at home EXCEPT to get medical care.
What this looks like. If you or someone in your house has tested positive for COVID-19 EVERYONE in your house will need to stay at home until: 1 day (this was recently updated) after the last person to get sick in your house DOES NOT have a fever or a cough AND at least 10 days after the last person to get sick in your house first had symptoms or signs of COVID-19. Stay in your house. Stay in a different room from other people in your house. Use a different bathroom. Clean surfaces that are commonly touched (such as phones, doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, sink handles, countertops and anything metal) more often. Try not to use the same personal items as other people. Have people in your house eat at different times.