Health Dept. file

The Bear River Health Department building is pictured in this 2019 file photo.

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Following its COVID-19 investigation procedures, the Bear River Health Department has traced a confirmed carrier of the virus to 10 other symptomatic individuals and has quarantined about 50 people as a result.

The 10 people with symptoms matching COVID-19 are being tested and isolated at home, the BRHD stated Thursday in a release. The case that kicked off the investigation was a health care provider at a small family practice clinic, and when the health department learned of it “quickly started a thorough and intense investigation, working through the night to contact any person who had possible exposure.”

Should the test results of the 10 people come back positive for COVID-19, the health district’s confirmed cases might see a sudden jump. As of Thursday, the district reported 24 confirmed cases. The health department states it will not make a “broad community announcement” regarding each case but will continue to trace who those people have come into close contact with.

“This recent case demonstrates the importance of staying home when you are sick,” stated Lloyd Berentzen, Executive Director for the Bear River Health Department, in the release. “One person not staying home while sick has resulted in more than 50 people being either isolated or quarantined.”

The health department continues to underscore social distancing and hygiene precautions to help slow the spread of the virus, telling people to stay home, especially when sick.

“If you must go out, practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people,” BRHD states.

Washing with soap for at least 20 seconds is an effective way to eliminate the virus from your hands. Although health experts believe the main way the virus spreads is by breathing in microscopic water droplets breathed, coughed or sneezed out by an infected person, it is believed that the virus can remain on surfaces for hours or days. If a person touches an infected surface and then touches their face before washing their hands, the virus may enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

BRHD states that if you’re unable to wash your hands in a particular situation, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is also effective in eliminating the virus.

Because it is important for health care workers to take precautions when dealing with someone who may have COVID-19, BRHD states that people should call ahead before visiting clinics.

BRHD encourages any who are concerned about exposure due to a recent visit to a health care clinic to call the department at (435)792-6500.

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