COVID-19 Pandemic Report
Updated – March 27, 2020 at 2:00 PM
This report is prepared and updated by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD), which serves Washington, Iron, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield Counties. Our mission is to protect the community’s health through the promotion of wellness and the prevention of disease. Visit our main COVID-19 page for additional information at swuhealth.org/covid.
What is COVID-19? COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is the name given to the disease caused by a new coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, several of which are known to cause respiratory infections in humans, from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Outbreak status: The global outbreak of COVID-19 led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The following numbers are current within the last 24 hours of the date of this report (there may be slight discrepancies in case numbers between the Utah and Southwest Utah websites due to reporting lag time):
- Worldwide: 462,684 cases, 20,834 deaths who.int
- United States: 85,356 cases, 1,246 deaths cdc.gov
- Utah: 480 cases, 2 deaths coronavirus.utah.gov
- Southwest Utah: 9 cases (including 1 recovered, 7 mild, 1 death) swuhealth.org
- Washington County: 6
- Iron County: 2
- Kane County: 0
- Beaver County: 0
- Garfield County: 1
These cases include travel-related and community-spread infections. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a constantly changing situation and more confirmed cases are likely as testing resources are more available. The SWUPHD and our emergency response partners will continue to diligently monitor and respond to any developments in our community. Residents are strongly encouraged to follow the social distancing and isolation recommendations explained below:
What is being done? Schools, universities, churches, nursing homes, and other facilities have already been temporarily closed. State and federal officials have recommended the following actions be followed by all citizens for a period of at least two weeks (to be re-evaluated April 1st). These preventive measures are intended to reduce the burden of COVID-19 on our medical system and protect lives:
- No gatherings over 10 people.
- Stay home and away from people if you are over 60 or have an underlying health condition.
- Work and school should be from home whenever possible.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
- Restaurants should offer drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options only.
- Everyone should practice social distancing: keeping a 6-foot space between people.
- If someone tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the household should self-isolate for 14 days.
- If you have traveled (international or domestic) recently you should practice social distancing for 14 days. If you experience symptoms (including fever, cough, and shortness of breath) contact your healthcare provider to ask about testing for COVID-19.
What about testing? Currently, testing is becoming more available and is ordered by a healthcare provider based on your symptoms and risk factors. CALL FIRST before going to a medical facility for testing. If you think you might have COVID-19 and want to know what to do next or are a healthcare provider with questions about testing; call the Utah COVID-19 Information Line at 1-800-456-7707. You can also access online guidance at intermountainhealthcare.org. Click the COVID-19 Symptom Checker on that page.
Can COVID-19 be prevented or treated? At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and treatment consists of supportive care for symptoms. Most people infected with COVID-19 make a full recovery. The spread of COVID-19 can be prevented or lessened by following the community-based guidelines above and the following interventions for respiratory disease:
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your face when coughing or sneezing using a tissue or arm.
- Wearing a mask (including N95 masks) is not necessary unless you are sick (to protect others) or you are in close proximity to someone who is sick (family members, caregivers, healthcare providers, etc).
We encourage you to stay informed through reliable sources (swuhealth.org and others listed above), including the Utah COVID-19 Information Line at 1-800-456-7707. Follow recommendations on isolation, travel, and gatherings. Together, we can lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community.