Thursday, March 5, 2020

Coronavirus – Latest Information

Current Situation

The Utah Department of Health is actively monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This outbreak began in early December 2019 and continues to expand in China and other countries. 
NO CASES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN UTAH. Only cases diagnosed in Utah will be counted as Utah cases. Although, the UDOH has investigated, and ruled out, several potential cases. Utah’s disease surveillance system is working as designed, as public health officials and health care providers are coordinating to identify and investigate potential cases.
While the origin of this particular outbreak can be traced back to China, it would be grossly inappropriate, not to mention medically ineffective, to ostracize anyone from our communities or exclude anyone from our places of public gathering based on their race, nationality, or ethnicity.
Many rumors related to COVID-19 circulating on social media are false or contain misinformation. People should be skeptical of rumors they hear on social media that aren’t being reported by reputable health organizations or mainstream media outlets and should not share or repost items unless they are able to confirm that they are true. False and inaccurate social media posts can cause a great deal of harm.
Even though this is a worrisome public health situation, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general public is believed to be low. We can all contribute to a healthy community, and we appreciate your willingness to help protect the public health in Utah.

What’s Happening in Utah

The Utah Department of Health is working with local health departments, healthcare providers, and other public health partners throughout the state to monitor illness associated with this new coronavirus and to prevent further spread.
The Department has activated its Incident Command System in order to ensure effective communication and coordination with all involved agencies.
While there are currently no confirmed cases in Utah, the UDOH will actively track potential cases as they occur in Utah and will reach out to local health departments and clinicians for assistance to determine the scope of this outbreak and provide technical assistance as necessary.

What’s Happening Nationally

Cases of COVID-19 infection in travelers have been detected in the U.S. Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.
Currently, passenger screening is ongoing at airports where most travelers returning from China enter the country. The CDC is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to expand entry health screening for travelers from Wuhan, China.
Public health entry screening is part of a layered approach that, when used with other public health measures already in place to detect ill arriving travelers, can slow and reduce the spread of disease into the United States.
Public health entry screening alone is not a guarantee against the possible importation of this new virus, but is an important public health tool during this period of uncertainty and part of a multilayered response strategy.
Travel into and out of Wuhan, China has been restricted. The number of travelers coming into the U.S. should decline and further reduce the potential for spread of illness.

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