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South Valley Journal

Riverton residents encouraged to use coronavirus prevention methods

Mar 19, 2020 03:30PM ● By Kirk Bradford

A Riverton City Council meeting just a few weeks ago before all were suspended to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Kirk Bradford/City Journals)

By Kirk Bradford | [email protected]

Last month, Utahns watched the novel coronavirus, termed COVID-19, as it spread first throughout China, then made its way in a massive spread across Italy, resulting in over 41,000 cases and 3,400 deaths as of this writing. Here in Utah, city and state leaders are doing their part to keep residents informed on how they can keep themselves and others safe.  

Riverton City Mayor Trent Staggs issued a directive to Riverton City staff to, “Implement measures to reduce potential spread of COVID-19 at city facilities and events.” The citywide advisory encouraged all residents to proactively employ these prevention methods, recommended by the CDC:

·         Keep hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 15 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·         Avoid physical contact with people who are sick.

·         Avoid mass gatherings of over 100 people.

·         Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands.

·         Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public spaces.

·         Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched in your home and place of work.

·         Avoid all non-essential travel.

Some Utah residents have cut back on going into work; others now work from home; travel plans have been canceled; schools are closed for several weeks, and everyone is encouraged to avoid crowded spaces, which include attending church. As more studies try to understand the pathways the virus has taken in its spread throughout Italy, one cultural activity is being studied carefully — how you greet someone.

In Italy, it’s common to greet someone with a kiss on one or both cheeks. As we learn more about COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Hopkins University and others are finding the trends that escalate the spread of the virus. What about handshakes and hugs? They are being discouraged in exchange for elbow bumps and foot shakes.

Government officials aren't the only ones taking precautionary measures to help stop the spread of the virus.

As the predominant religion in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is suspending public gatherings for members in Utah as well as the over 16 million church members worldwide “until further notice.”

Just as important as knowing how to avoid contracting the virus, is knowing how to identify its symptoms and keeping it from spreading further. The symptoms, presented by the virus described by the CDC, are:

·         dry cough

·         fever

·         emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face.

If you haven't already done so, sign up for the Riverton Text Message Alerts on the city’s website, www.rivertonutah.gov

If you or a family member are ill with respiratory symptoms, don’t visit a hospital or clinic without calling first. If you are healthy but have questions or concerns, do not visit a healthcare facility. “Worried well” individuals are flooding healthcare providers with COVID-19 concerns and exhausting health care resources for those who are truly in need. Instead, call 1-800-456-7707.