NEWS - "Box Elder County COVID-19 update - August 16, 2020"

BOX ELDER COUNTY – By Cari Doutre – August 16, 2020


The country, and Utah, is now nearing their fifth month of government restrictions, business closures and new guidelines in this new normal - a COVID-19 society. Updated information, news and statistics are changing everyday during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. So where does Box Elder County and Utah stand now when it comes to positive case counts, color-coded phases and the latest news during the COVID-19 pandemic?

That updated information can be found below gathered by BRVNEWS.com


CURRENT CASE COUNTS

The Bear River Health Department (Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties) and The Utah Department of Health both update statistics daily.

Here’s where Box Elder County and Utah case counts and statistics are as of Sunday, August 16, 2020.


Box Elder County:

- 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19

- Zero (0) currently hospitalized

- 295 recovered

- Two (2) deaths


Cache County:

- 1,973 confirmed cases of COVID-19

- Two (2) currently hospitalized

- 1,752 recovered

- Five (5) deaths


Rich County:

- 9 confirmed cases of COVID-19

- 0 currently hospitalized

- 6 recovered

- 0 deaths


Utah Department of Health:

- 46,652 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Utah

- 2,771 (total, not current) hospitalizations

- 598,527 tested

- 363 deaths


BEAR RIVER HEALTH DEPARTMENT UDPATE: August 14, 2020

"With each week that passes, the end of COVID is in sight. In this message, I would like to lay out a general timeline with one or two brief and temporary hurdles that we will need to pass over. First, we have seen a steady decline in our 7 day positivity rate as indicated in the chart shown over the last 6 weeks.

We have observed very carefully the development and progress of a COVID-19 vaccine. There are 5 or 6 leading pharmaceutical companies that have shown very promising results as they move into their final stage of mass testing. Once the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines has been established, the anticipation is that a vaccine could begin to roll out as soon as November or December, with ample vaccine being available as we move into the first of 2021. The Bear River Health Department has begun the planning for how this mass vaccination campaign can be done as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Until a vaccine is here, we will continue our efforts of keeping our numbers low. We recognize that school openings are upon us and we will assist Utah State University, our local school districts, our charter schools, and our private schools in giving them the assistance they may need. It is important that our school immunizations are up to date. Simultaneously, we also know that flu season will be here shortly. Getting our flu shots early will help in isolating our efforts against COVID-19 since both of these diseases can have similar symptoms.

Remember, most of our efforts that include quarantine, physical distancing, and mask wearing are important tools in staving off the spread of COVID and are all temporary interventions. The end is in sight and we will continue to make advances in science and medicine in the win over COVID. Thank you for all of your efforts and willingess to help by doing your part to prevent the spread of this disease." - Lloyd Berentzen, Executive Director – Bear River Health Department


BOX ELDER SCHOOL DISTRICT BACK IN SESSION ON AUGUST 31, 2020

Students within Box Elder School District were informed on July 15, 2020 that school will be back in session on August 31. Read BRVNEWS.com's full coverage below:

https://www.brvnews.com/post/news-box-elder-school-district-makes-changes-clarifications-to-return-to-learn-plan


https://www.brvnews.com/post/news-box-elder-school-district-releases-return-to-learn-plan-for-2020-21-school-year


https://www.brvnews.com/post/breaking-news-schools-to-resume-august-31-for-box-elder-school-district



LOGAN CITY MANDATES MASKS

Logan City (Cache County) released an executive order on August 1, 2020 that mandates face coverings within the city of Logan.


COLOR CODED HEALTH GUIDANCE SYSTEM

Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency on March 6, in response to outbreak of COVID-19.

Utah then released a color-coded health guidance system soon after for individuals and businesses.

Utah stayed in the Red Phase (high risk) before moving to the Orange Phase on May 1. Color-coded phases can be different according to individual county, region, city or health districts.

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Courtesy of The Utah Department of Health

Utah moved to the Yellow Phase (low risk) on May 16. The move from Orange Phase (moderate risk) to Yellow Phase was made after the state determined “Utah’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have been working,” stated the Utah Department of Health's website.

“Finding a new normal won’t be instant, like flipping a switch, it’ll be more like gradually moving a dial,” it added.

https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/Phased_Guidelines%204.7.3_20200626.pdf


BOX ELDER COUNTY’S CURRENT PHASE - YELLOW (LOW RISK)

Box Elder County is currently in the Yellow Phase. This low risk phase loosens some restrictions while still mandating guidelines where needed.

General guidelines allow for groups of 50 individuals at a time but still strongly encourage social distancing with six feet of space per person, if possible, in public settings.

All businesses in Utah are allowed to open but must take “reasonable precautions” depending on the type of business.

Restrictions on outdoor summer activities was also lifted but some guidelines are still in place. Swimming pools can open but with social distancing guidelines to be followed. Team sports is also back in business however all participants must have symptoms checked prior to competitions or practices.

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FACE COVERINGS

The Utah Department of Health and Governor Herbert strongly encourages individuals to wear face coverings over their mouths and noses – especially when social distancing isn’t easy to maintain. https://governor.utah.gov/2020/06/12/why-utahns-should-wear-a-facemask/

Private businesses can also mandate face coverings when entering a facility but two counties in Utah have ordered mandatory face coverings in some public areas.

Salt Lake County released an order on June 26, that requires individuals to wear face coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth in public areas where “consistent social distancing of at least six feet is not possible, reasonable or prudent.”

FIND SALT LAKE COUNTY’S FULL ORDER HERE

On Friday, June 26, Summit County Council adopted a joint public health order that requires “all individuals currently living within or visiting Summit County, Utah, to wear a face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth” under certain conditions.

FIND SUMMIT COUNTY’S JOINT PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER 2020-08 HERE


ADVANCES IN TESTING

The availability of COVID-19 testing, and in some cases free testing, has allowed more and more individuals with symptoms to get tested.

“Testing capabilities for COVID-19 have increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic,” stated the Utah Health Department’s website. They also recommend that anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and chills), as well as decreased sense of smell or taste be tested for COVID-19.

According to Utah.gov as of Tuesday, June 30, Utah has 340,753 reported individuals that have been tested for COVID-19. Of those reported cases, 22,217 of those tests came back positive for the virus.

The Bear River Health Department offers COVID-19 testing at their Brigham City location, 817 Parker Lane, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m.

The health department also offers antibody tests for $80 to determine if an individual has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. This test, which finds antibodies in blood, can tell if an immune system responded to the infection. Antibodies found in the blood mean that an individual was exposed to COVID-19 at one point. Testing is done by appointment only.

“Because there are few scientific studies about how accurate COVID-19 antibody tests are, the results of antibody tests should not be used to know if you have COVID-19 or if you are immune to it,” as stated at Utah.gov

“Right now, we don’t know if people who have recovered from COVID-19 or who have antibodies for it are immune and protected from getting COVID-19,” it added.

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In Tremonton, Intermountain Healthcare’s Bear River Clinic (935 N. 1000 W., Tremonton) offers drive-thru testing Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

According to Intermountain Healthcare’s website, “Intermountain has established a standard payment rate of $87 for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and a $65 for COVID-19 antibody testing.”

Intermountain recommends that patients contact their insurance companies for updated information on coverage options.

“Intermountain is also committed to work with government programs so uninsured patients will not have financial responsibility for COVID-19 testing,” their website added.

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/covid19-coronavirus/get-testing/

Cars line up at Intermountain Healthcare's Bear River Clinic for COVID-19 testing on June 8 - Photo by John Hurley
Cars line up at Intermountain Healthcare's Bear River Clinic for COVID-19 testing on June 8 - Photo by John Hurley
Cars line up at Intermountain Healthcare's Bear River Clinic for COVID-19 testing on June 8 - Photo by John Hurley

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