COVID-19 Viral Activity Shown in Daggett County Sewage
By Kristin Forbis, Jul 22, 2020
TriCounty Health Department issued a press release on Wednesday evening stating that a sewage study shows COVID-19 viral activity in Daggett County and viral activity has been detected in 3 out of 4 sewage treatment facilities in the TriCounty Health District. Their announcement shared the following: After just two weeks of testing TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) in partnership with Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are reporting the detection of COVID-19 virus in multiple sewage treatment facilities within the TriCounty jurisdictions; Dutch John, Roosevelt, and Ashley Valley sewer treatment facilities. “The most surprising and concerning to us is the level of virus detected in the Dutch John facility,” TriCounty Health Officer, Jordan Mathis, said. “It is concerning because we do not have any laboratory confirmed cases in the Dutch John area but we are seeing the same levels of virus as we are seeing in Roosevelt’s sewage treatment facility where we are seeing most of our laboratory confirmed cases at the moment.” Weekly samples are gathered from effluent coming into each facility. They are then sent to the laboratory where they are measured for million gene copies/per person/day. The following are the readings from each of the sewer treatment facilities being monitored in the TriCounty jurisdiction.
Daggett County (Manila), not detectable
Ashley Creek, low but detectable: 6 M GC/pp/per day
Roosevelt, also moderate: 36 M GC/pp/per day
Dutch John also moderate 39 M GC/pp/per day
“To put this into perspective, this is roughly equivalent to the per capita numbers we are seeing in Logan and Park City right now,” DEQ representative, Jeffrey Ostermiller said, in speaking about the Dutch John and Roosevelt facility readings. In light of these findings TCHD is encouraging individuals and businesses in Dutch John and Roosevelt to be extra vigilant in their COVID-19 mitigation efforts. These precautions include:
staying home when sick
washing hands regularly throughout the day
maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet of more when in public and at work
wearing a mask in public and whenever physical distancing is not possible
abiding by isolation and quarantine recommendations from healthcare providers and the health department
regularly disinfecting frequently touched and shared surfaces
any individuals exhibiting symptoms should seek out testing
“We are not really surprised by these findings given the large influx in people into the county this summer,” Daggett County Commissioner, Jack Lytle, said. “Despite being in ‘green’ this reinforces each individual’s responsibility towards being diligent in following COVID guidelines.” To learn more about the ongoing study and see the weekly monitoring report visit https://deq.utah.gov/water-quality/sars-cov-2-sewage-monitoring.