Medical Symbol



in Washington County, Utah


Pandemic vs Epidemic:   An epidemic occurs when new cases of a disease in a given human population during
a given period substantially exceeds what is "expected" based on recent experience. A pandemic is an epidemic
of an infectious disease that spreads through human populations across a large region, like a continent.
A pandemic is a widespread epidemic.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus.


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhah, China in December of 2019. It rapidly spread
around the world.

On March 5, 2020, Gov. Gary R. Herbert declared a State of Emergency for the State due to the COVID-10
Novel Coronavirus. No cases had yet been detected in the State, but it was clear they were coming.

On March 12, 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints canceled church services worldwide
until further notice.

Washington County School District closed all K-12 schools beginning on March 16, 2020 for 2 weeks. The first
week was already planned as a spring break. That closure was extended to May 1.

On March 17, 2020, Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued a "Stay Safe, Stay Home" Directive. That Directive was set to
expire on April 13, but was extended on April 10. It limited group gatherings to 10 people and suspended dine-in
service at restaurants and bars. That Directive was updated on April 17, 2020 and then rescinded on May 1,

The Washington County Commission declared a state of emergency for Washington County on March 20, 2020.
[See the 3/21/2020 article in the St. George News for detials.]

The first test positive for COVID-19 in Southern Utah occured on March 21, 2020 and appeared to be
travel related.

The first COVID-19 death in Utah was announced on March 22, 2020. It was a man in Davis County who was
over 60 year old with underlying healt conditions. The second death of a Utah resident was announced on
March 27 and then a third death on March 29.

The first cases of community spread (ie. not travel related) COVID-19 where announced on March 25, 2020.

On March 26, 2020, The Utah Department of Health restricted non-essential medical, dental, and veterinary
procedures in order to preserve masks, gloves, ana other protective equipment for medical professionals
assisting in the fight against COVID-19.

The first COVID-19 death from southern Utah was reported on March 27, 2020. It was a woman in her 50s
from Iron County who died in a Salt Lake hospital.

Utah's technical colleges suspended teaching on March 30, 2020 until at least May 1, 2020.

Utah receives a Presidential disaster declaration for COVID-19 (FEMA-4525-DR) on April 4, 2020.

On April 9, 2002, Gov. Herbert issued an Executive Order that all individuals entering Utah fill out a travel
declaration form. This applied to individuals entering via road as well as at the Salt Lake International Airport.
The next day, wireless emergency alert messages with a COVID-19 survey link were activated at Utah borders.
Those messages didn't work very well and were suspended on April 13.

On April 14, 2020, the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health issued a State Public Health Order
which was in effect through May 1, 2020.

State Parks including Snow Canyon, Gunlock, Quail Creek, and Sand Hollow reopened to non-county residents
on April 17, 2020.

The State of Utah released the "Healthy Together" mobile app to help Utahns check for symptoms of COVID-19
and find available resources.

On April 25, 2020, the Utah Department of Health announced the first COVID-19 death of a person in
Washington County. It was a woman in her 60s with underlying medical conditions and occurred on April 23. This
was the second COVID-19 death in southern Utah. A woman from Iron County died on March 26.

On April 28, 2020, Gov. Herbert announced "A Mask for Every Utahn" project aimed at getting a free face mask
to those Utahns who don't already have one.

A color-coded health guidance system was developed by the State of Utah to guide health behaviors for
individuals and businesses. Each level is guided by a rigorous measurement system which can be different
by each region, county, city, or community.
    Red - High Risk
    Orange - Moderate Risk
    Yellow - Low Risk
    Green - New Normal Risk
High-risk individuals operate under stricter instructions because they are more likely to suffer severe illness
from COVID-19.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an Executive Order effective on May 1, 2020, moving much of Utah (including
Washington County) from Red (High Risk) to Orange (Moderate Risk) status. His "Stay Safe, Stay Home"
Directive was rescinded.

A 50 year old Washington County man with underlying health conditions died of COVID-19 in a local hospital
on May 3, 2020. He was the second Washington County death and third southwest Utah death.

Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an Executive Order effective on May 16, 2020, moving much of Utah (including
Washington County) from Orange (Moderate Risk) to Yellow (Low Risk) status.

On May 19, 2020 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced phased and gradual return of
meeting house activities. The emphasis was on responding to local conditions.

A Washington County man between the ages of 60 and 85 died of COVID-19 in a local hospital
on May 18, 2020. He was the third Washington County death and fourth southwest Utah death.

Gov. Gary Herbert issued an emergency declaration making the wearing of face coverings mandatory and
restricting indoor social gatherings to 10 or less in Washington County from October 15 through October 29. For
the first time since the pandemic started, Southern Utah (Washingon, Kane, Iron, Garfield, and Beaver Counties)
is averaging at least one death per day.

On October 18, The Dixie Regional Medical Center exceeded the 32-bed capacity of its Intensive Care Unit
(ICU). They activated a contingency surge ICU plan, converting additional rooms into zero pressure ICU rooms,
increasing the ICU bed availability to 89. The hospital has 284 beds with the ability to add between 80 and 100
beds if necessary. A BLU-MED tent has been set up outside the Emergency Room as a last resort if the hospital
runs out of beds. The number of staff available to man these beds may also be a problem. In addition to the
spike in COVID-19 patients, the hospital must care for non-COVID patients and patients being transfered from
other hospitals that have exceeded their capacities.




Official Information Sources
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Web Page
    Federal Government Website for Medicare & Coronavirus
    Utah Department of Health Coronavirus Web Page
    Southwest Utah Public Health Department Coronavirus Web Page

State and Local Orders and Directives

Executive Orders (have the force of law) from Gov. Gary R. Herbert:
    State of Emergency due to the COVID-10 Novle Coronavirus
    Move from Red (High Risk) to Orange (Moderate Risk) Status
    Move from Orange (Moderate Risk) to Yellow (Low Risk) Status
    Require people entering Utah to complete a Travel Declaration Form

Directives from Gov. Gary R. Herbert:
    Coronavirus Directive for Utah "Stay Safe, Stay Home
    Coronavirus Directive for Utah "Stay Safe, Stay Home - Updated

State Public Health Order issued on April 14, 2020 and expired on May 1, 2020

Utah Leads Together, Utah's plan for a health and economic recovery
    Version 1, March 24, 2020
    Version 2, April 17, 2020
    Version 3, May 20, 2020

Utah COVID-19 Response (the sequence of events)

Southwest Utah Public Health Department Archive of COVID-19 News Releases

The J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah has a digital archive where Utah residents can share
stories and photos of their experiences relating to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. For information:
click here and click here.