MRH coronavirus testing hands

[Photo by Maggie McGuire/Moab Sun News]

After what Southeast Utah Health Department Health Director Bradon Bradford described as a “mini-outbreak” of COVID-19 infections in Grand County about a month ago, new case counts have remained low, he told the Grand County Council at their Aug. 18 meeting.

“I feel confident that what we’ve put in place has been effective in keeping our numbers at a manageable level,” Bradford said, and encouraged the council to extend the Grand County mandate requiring mask wearing in public spaces where physical distancing would be impossible.

The council voted to extend the current mask mandate through the end of 2020, with the option to rescind it if conditions change. Councilmembers Curtis Wells and Rory Paxman voted against the extension.

Bradford also reported that SEUHD has put in an order for nine rapid testing machines, planning to allocate three each for Grand, Emery and Carbon counties.

“We’re hoping to take a little bit of strain off the hospital and make testing more available as we go into the school year,” Bradford said.

SEUHD has hired four new part-time contact tracers and hopes to increase testing in anticipation of possible increased exposure risk from the reopening of local schools.

A free mobile testing day will be held at Grand County High School on Aug. 31 as a partnership between SEUHD, the Utah National Guard and the Utah Public Health Lab. More information and a link to pre-register will be available soon, said Bradford.

“There will be focus on school district staff, but it will be open to anybody,” Bradford said.

As of Aug. 21, Grand County is currently reporting 54 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which one case is considered active and one patient has died. Current case totals and other information can be found at www.seuhealth.com.

Those who show any symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested at Moab Regional Hospital. The tests are covered by insurance and there is no charge for those without health insurance.

To talk to a nurse about symptoms and schedule a test, call the Moab Regional Hospital COVID-19 hotline at 435-719-3998.