The first Uintah County COVID-19 case was diagnosed to a man that was recently released from the Uintah County Jail. The man has been speculated about to have contracted the disease in the jail, but there is evidence that says otherwise.
The individual was released on March 16 and had visited his friends in the Salt Lake City area on March 23. This leads to how the disease could have also been contracted after his release from the Uintah County Jail. It was reported that the individual was seen on March 24 by a healthcare provider for symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The individual is now quarantined in his home, where he’ll remain so that he can recover.
“In speaking with TriCounty Health officials,” said the Uintah County Sheriff, Steve Labrum, “they are confident that the individual would have shown symptoms before March 24, if he had been exposed to COVID-19 in the jail.”
Prior to this incident, the sheriff has outlined the steps the County Jail has put forward to prevent the further spread of the disease and to mitigate the risk of exposing it to the staff and inmates at the jail.
“In a previous release, I outlined how the courts and judges have taken a serious look at who could be released,” Labrum continued, “with the extra room the jail now has, we have been able to segregate housing units so there is no cross-contamination or interaction between them.”
After this incident, the inmates who were housed in the same unit will be checked for a higher temperature two times a day and staff will be checked before entering the jail for their shift. With this announcement, it is advised to take social distancing extremely seriously to slow the spread of the virus as much as possible.
“This doesn’t mean that we should stop living,” concluded Sheriff Labrum, “but it does mean that we need to use common sense, wash our hands properly, cover our coughs, stay home if we’re sick, and don’t panic.”