TriCounty Health Officer, Jordan Mathis, issued the following letter and request to the public on Monday, March 23.
Dear Uintah Basin Residents,
Currently, the only thing spreading faster than the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are the rumors spreading through our community. Right now, these rumors are proving more destructive to our local response than the actual virus itself. I understand the concern and anxiety around this new disease, but if you are engaging in the creation of rumors or the continuation of rumors within our community, SHAME ON YOU!. Such behavior is analogous to prank calling 911. All you are doing is tying up the limited resources of the health department by causing us to have to combat these lies when such resources could be utilized for other response efforts. Therefore, I am calling on everyone to STOP such rumors.
As your Health Officer, I want to assure you that neither I nor my staff at TriCounty Health are hiding anything from you. We are committed to being completely transparent with the public throughout this process. But it is important to remember that this response from the federal level down to the local level is a fluid one that changes rapidly. Unfortunately, that means we don’t always have all the information that we would like to have, but that doesn’t mean we are hiding it from you. However, as more and more data becomes available to us, on things like the number of tests run for our area, TriCounty is committed to making accurate information available.
My commitment, and my team’s commitment, is to you and your health. Successfully combating this virus will require a collective community effort from each of us. We also fully understand that each person’s effort must be guided by good and accurate information, and we are committed to getting you the best information possible as we fight this virus together. Please trust us as we continue to fight and serve for the health of our community. And please, please, please help us to be able to dedicate all our efforts towards that end by putting an end to the rumor mill that is counterproductive to all our efforts.
Jordan D. Mathis
TriCounty Health Officer
P.S. If you want to stay up-to-date on what is happening locally and throughout the state regarding COVID-19 you can go to tricountyhealth.com or coronavirus.utah.gov. Or, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.