BOX ELDER COUNTY – By Cari Doutre – June 30, 2020
The country, and Utah, is now nearing their third straight 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. The state will be holding a COVID-19 related news conference on July 1, at 10 a.m.
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
Here’s where Box Elder County and Utah case counts and statistics are as of Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Box Elder County:
- 147 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 2 currently hospitalized
- 57 recovered
- One (1) death
- 1,451 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 8 currently hospitalized
- 805 recovered
- One (1) death
- 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 0 currently hospitalized
- 0 recovered
- 0 deaths
Utah Department of Health:
- 22,217 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 1,444 hospitalizations
- 340,753 tested
- 172 deaths
Salt Lake County currently has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths. As of June 30, the county has 11,166 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 107 deaths
CACHE COUNTY CASES OF COVID-19 SPIKE
In early June, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cache County spiked after a large increase in positive tests were linked to an outbreak at a local meat processing facility, JBS in Hyrum. That spike in cases pushed the Bear River Health District to the third highest health district in Utah with confirmed cases.
On June 2, the Bear River Health Department had 36 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. On June 5, 218 new cases were confirmed – the biggest spike in confirmed daily cases.
The Center for Disease Controls responded to the outbreak by sending five epidemiologists and two other scientists to help track the outbreak.
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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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.
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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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.”
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.
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.