The Utah Department of Health confirmed the first COVID-19 death in the state Sunday. The patient was a male older than 60 and a resident of Davis County.
The patient was being treated at Lakeview Hospital and was treated for days before his death. The hospital reports he did have underlying medical conditions.
“First and foremost, Jeanette and I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of this individual,” said Gov. Gary Herbert in a statement. “The pain this family must be feeling right now puts into perspective the sacrifices we are all making to keep one another safe and healthy. We encourage everyone to do their part by practicing safe health practices, including social distancing.”
The patient tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and the Davis County Health Department is working to identify and contact anyone who he may have been in contact with, according to a statement from the UDOH.
Anyone who was in contact with him will be asked to quarantine or isolate as necessary, while being monitored closely for COVID-19 symptoms.
“Even though we knew some Utah residents would lose their lives to this illness it is heartbreaking to announce this first death. We share in this family’s grief and are deeply committed to doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of our community,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, UDOH state epidemiologist, in a statement. “We need all Utah residents to do their part in taking the necessary steps to limit the spread of this illness.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or shortness of breath. If someone experiences these symptoms, or are in contact with someone who is, they are asked to immediately contact their health care providers.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment available for the coronavirus, but the Utah Department of Health recommends preventative actions to stop the spread of the germs. This includes hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.