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February 28, 2022

Dr. Dunn Shares Updated COVID Prevention Recommendations

Nicholas Rupp - Email

Today, following Friday’s U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement that Salt Lake County is now in the “medium” level for COVID transmission, Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) Executive Director Dr. Angela C. Dunn updated her recommendations to help prevent COVID transmission and decrease the likelihood of serious illness.

Her primary guidance includes:

  • Being up to date on recommended COVID vaccinations, including boosters when eligible
  • Isolating at home and getting tested for COVID if you have symptoms
  • Wearing a high-filtration mask when indoors in public—if certain personal circumstances apply
  • Seeking early treatment if you test positive and are at high risk for serious illness
  • Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition and regular physical activity

“Ensuring you and your loved ones are up to date on your COVID vaccination is still the single best way to prevent serious disease and death,” Dunn said. “And while high-filtration masks are no longer essential communitywide, they remain an important layer of protection for many people in our community.”

Dunn says that under the CDC’s “medium” transmission level, people should decide whether to wear a mask based on their underlying risk of serious COVID illness as well as the underlying risk of the people close to them: “If you or someone who is regularly in your life—a family member, coworker or close friend—is at high risk for serious illness, you should still consider wearing a mask when indoors in public.”

In addition, people with symptoms or a positive COVID test should isolate at home for 5 days and wear a mask for an additional 5 days regardless of the community transmission level.

“Please be aware and respectful of what the people around you are doing, and also consider the people in your life who may be at higher risk than you,” Dunn continued. “If you enter a business and they require or recommend masks, please respect this and wear a mask; they may have a colleague at high risk who needs that additional protection. If a family member or friend you see regularly has an underlying health condition, wear a mask in crowded, indoor settings for their sake—or evaluate if you need to be in that setting at all.”

COVID testing and treatment are both also important to help control community spread of illness, and Salt Lake County health officials urge people with symptoms to seek testing but otherwise stay home. Testing at the first sign of symptoms is additionally important so those who qualify for available treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies or antiviral medication, can begin that treatment within the necessary timeframe.