Businesses are legally required to post a flyer alerting customers of Grand County’s mask requirement, there is a right way and a wrong way to wear masks, and people who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should wait five to seven days before getting tested.
So said Bradon Bradford of the Southeast Utah Health Department during an update to the Moab City Council on Tuesday during a question and answer session with members of the council.
The person who has been hospitalized with the disease in Grand County is high-risk due to their age, he said. And while Grand County has largely avoided the high case counts seen elsewhere, the number is up to 28 cases and many of those people have relatives living with them.
While it is understandable for someone to want to be tested as soon as possible after learning they have been exposed, Bradon said getting tested too early could result in a negative result, leading to a “false sense of security.” Instead, he recommends people to wait five to seven days.
He also told Member Rani Deresary that local businesses must post in a conspicuous place the mask mandate, a requirement not every business is following, according to comments she’s received from constituents. Bradford encouraged people who see a lack of compliance to report it to the health department.
Deresary also reported being told of employees not wearing the mask correctly, leaving the nose and sometimes both the nose and mouth exposed. Bradford, perhaps stating the obvious, said the masks must be worn correctly.
On a day Bradford said a testing push resulted in between 160 and 170 people being tested, he acknowledged there is still much that isn’t known about COVID-19. In answer to a question from Vice Mayor Tawny Knuteson-Boyd, Bradford indicated the 14- and 21-day period that determines whether someone has recovered from the disease is arbitrary.
He said it’s that period of time — as well as three consecutive days of being symptom free. Some people are considered recovered after 10 days, for example, while others might remain symptomatic after three weeks. “No symptoms is key to recovery,” he said.
The testing protocol remains the same. Those who have a single symptom, such as fever, headache, cough, etc., are eligible for testing, as is anyone who has been exposed to an infected person.
Bradford said Moab Regional Hospital is working with groups of people in high-risk occupations that are being tested on a rotating basis.
It takes four days to get test results.
On a related matter, Mayor Emily Niehaus under a separate agenda item noted the sewer epidemiology study under way regarding COVID-19 in the sewer system continues, and “as of today, it looks like we are increasing,” she said, adding, however, “The data suggests we don’t have a whole ton falling into the system.”