State Increasing Community Tracing Efforts Prior To Reopening

Apr 27, 2020

In Monday's press conference to update the state on the coronavirus, state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Utah is increasing community tracing efforts to get a better sense of how far the virus is spreading as businesses and restaraunts plan to start reopening. She said while the current tracing efforts question the past two days after a person receives a positive test result, Utahns with the virus will now be asked to report contacts from the past seven days of being tested. 

Dunn added those who contracted the virus and recovered may still be at risk for reinfection, according to data from European countries. She said without more information on if immunity is long-lasting — or exists at all — social distancing efforts are essential to protect further spread of the coronavirus.

Though Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said on Friday he is planning to reduce Utah’s risk category from “red” to “orange” by the end of the week, things will not immediately return to pre-COVID-19 normality. She said local health departments need to look out for a two-week plateau period followed by a trend of decreasing positive test results before the Utah can ease most precautions.

Dunn said of the state’s deaths due to the coronavirus, the majority were in the older than 65 years old population, more specifically, those over 85. Dunn added 80% of that demographic had underlying health conditions prior to their infections.

The full press conference is available here.