State Department of Health Updates, Press Conf., Thursday, Mar. 19
As of Thursday afternoon, there are 78 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Utah. The number of visitors to the state who have tested positively is still 10 and the number of Utahns who have been diagnosed with the virus is 68.
The largest number of cases in the state are in Summit and Salt Lake counties. State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said tourism was one of the driving factors in the spread in Summit County. There are no new confirmed cases in the region of the state covered by the Bear River Health Department.
Over 1,500 people have been reportedly tested for the virus, however the Utah Department of Health website states that this number considerably lower than the actual number of people tested because large, private laboratories have not been reporting the number of tests they have done.
The website also states that laboratory positives may not match confirmed cases due to ongoing investigations and confirmatory testing.
In the department's press conference today, Dunn said Utah is still in the beginning of the outbreak and should residents should expect for this to last at least a few months. While there are still shortages of tests, Dunn stated once again that an inability to be tested will not impact the care someone receives if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. And as far as slowing the spread, she reiterated that in households where someone is showing symptoms of coronavirus, everyone needs to stay home.
- On Wednesday evening, Utah's Democratic congressman Ben McAdams announced he had tested positive for coronavirus.
- Governor Gary Herbert issued three special orders on Wednesday evening as part of continued efforts to mitigate the spread. These included allowing public meetings to be conducted electronically, remote viewing of hearings for the Board of Parole and Pardons and the return of unopened beer, wine, and liquor to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
- The state library is live-streaming story times on their Facebook page every morning at 10 a.m.
- The United Way of Salt Lake is collecting donations to help the children and families most impacted by the closures of schools and loss of work because of COVID-19. Other organizations are also putting out calls for blood donations, volunteers, and food for the economically vulnerable.
- Multiple grocery store chains are providing hours where those at the highest risk from COVID-19 can shop with limited interaction with the rest of the public.