facebook-pixel

A second Utahn, a woman under age 60, has died from the coronavirus

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing readers free access to critical local stories about the coronavirus during this time of heightened concern. See more coverage here. To support journalism like this, please consider donating or become a subscriber.

A second Utahn has died of COVID-19, and the state’s total number of cases has reached 480.

The state’s second victim is a woman from southwestern Utah who was under age 60. She died Thursday at a Salt Lake City area hospital and had significant underlying health conditions, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department.

It was not immediately clear where the woman was from, but the news release came out of the St. George office.

“We want to express our sympathy for this individual’s family and friends”, said David Blodgett, the health officer for the Southwest department. “We encourage our community to maintain social distancing in your daily activities and make the effort to protect our older or vulnerable residents.”

The area health department has reached out to people who were in contact with the woman.

A Davis County man over age 60 was the first Utahn to die from the coronavirus. His death was announced Sunday.

Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, expressed her condolences during the state’s daily news briefing. She reported that the cases are up to 480, a 19% rise from Thursday, when the count was at 402.

“Our case increases on a daily basis continue to be steady, and that’s a good sign,” she said, noting that Utah hasn’t seen exponential increases like some states.

Dunn also said the percent of tests that have come back positive has stayed at 5%, as have hospitalizations at about 10%.

The total number of people tested expanded from 7,710 to 9,244. She expects to see significant increases in positive tests for some time because the state can now administer more tests.

Salt Lake County saw its total cases rise from 181 to 221. Summit County, where a stay-at-home order takes effect at midnight, saw its cases increase from 103 to 110.

The new numbers don’t include the first case in the southeast region, which San Juan County reported earlier.

Public health officials in San Juan County announced Friday that a male resident of the county under age 65 has tested positive for COVID-19.

No further identifying details were immediately released, but the San Juan Public Health Department announced the news in a joint release with the Utah Navajo Health System and the Navajo Department of Health, indicating the patient may be a resident of the southern part of the county, which overlaps with the Navajo Nation.

Last week, a resident of Chilchinbeto, Ariz., a small Navajo Nation community 30 miles south of Monument Valley, Utah, tested positive, and cases on the reservation have since grown to 71 with the epicenter of the outbreak in northern Arizona.

Salt Lake County Councilman Arlyn Bradshaw announced Friday on Facebook that he tested positive for the coronavirus “after experiencing symptoms for several days.”

“The good news is I have been working from home and practicing social distancing prior to the onset of my symptoms,” he wrote, “and have practiced self-isolation since I began experiencing symptoms, which has restricted my contact with others outside my household.”

Bradshaw, who was elected to the council in 2010, said he will continue to work on the coronavirus response with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, his colleagues on the County Council and the Salt Lake County Board of Health.

In his post, the councilman thanked the doctors and medical professionals “working on the front lines of this crisis” and the University of Utah Health team that administered his drive-up test.

“I encourage everyone in our community to support them as best we can," he added, “by trying to slow the spread of this virus by staying home, social distancing, washing our hands, and following the advice and direction of public health officials and medical professionals.”

Bradshaw is the first Salt Lake County Council member to publicly announce a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. Two Salt Lake City Council members have contracted the virus: District 5 Councilman Darin Mano and District 6 Councilman Dan Dugan.

During the state’s news briefing, Jack Meersman with Gold Cross Ambulance, encouraged people to call 911 only if they have to, saying that as many as 80% of calls are somehow tied to the virus. He said the calls are starting to overwhelm the system and have resulted in some changes in how they will be handled.

He said an individual paramedic will approach the door and ask a few questions about a patient before deciding how to respond. Some, he said, may be told they have to stay at their home.

Reporters Taylor Stevens and Zak Podmore contributed to this article.

Return to Story