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Vernal, UT Sept. 2, 2021 – The tri-county area is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Duchesne County currently has the highest case rate in Utah.  We must take immediate action as a community to prevent our local hospitals from being overwhelmed.


Duchesne County (DC),TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) and Uintah Basin Healthcare (UBH) ask Duchesne County residents to choose to wear masks in any indoor situation where close contact with others is likely, until our local hospitals can keep up. We also ask all residents of Duchesne County to stay home if they are sick, or if someone in their home is sick, and to continue to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


“Despite what your position may be on protective measures, this is the moment when, as your local hospital, we sincerely encourage you to do your part to slow the spread of this disease. We are tired. You are tired. Our facility is facing critical shortages and we need your help,” Greg Staker, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Uintah Basin Healthcare, said. “We are concerned for the health of our community. We are concerned for the  well-being of our healthcare workers, and their ability to provide care. UBH is averaging three to four COVID inpatients per week, with a significant uptick beginning last week. Our hospital’s capacity for COVID patients is two in ICU and six in Med Surg. As of August 31, UBH had two in ICU and four in Med Surg. Additionally, UBH has seen 135 COVID patients in the ER in the month of August alone.”


“If COVID continues to spread at its current account pace, our hospital staff will not be able to keep up.” Health Director, Kirk Benge, said, “We are pleading with the whole community to take action. We are asking everyone to have a conversation about how your family may be impacted if there are no more emergency beds available in our community.” 


“Duchesne County residents have always joined together to help their neighbors. This is another opportunity for us to pull together and work for a healthier and safer outcome and protect our most vulnerable residents,” Duchesne County Commissioners Todd, Hansen and Miles, said. 


DC, TCHD, and UBH are asking the communities in Duchesne County to work together to protect each other. This will help our hospital staff manage the high number of patients currently being admitted into the local hospitals.