Kane County COVID Task Force update - Dec. 17

In attendance:

  • Alan Alldredge, Kane County Emergency Services

  • Tracy Glover, Kane County Sheriff

  • Rob Van Dyke, Kane County Attorney

  • Lamont Smith, Kane County Commission

  • Rhonda Gant, Kane County HR Director

  • Camille Johnson Taylor, Kane County Office of Tourism

  • Dr. David Blodgett, Southwest Regional Health Department

  • Sherrie Pandya, Stuart Willoughby, Kane County Hospital and Ambulance

  • Jessie Staples, Alton Town

  • Megan Ramsay and Nick Hoyt, Kane County Dispatch and Correctional Facility

  • Robert Houston, Joe Decker, Tom Cram, Kanab City

  • Robert Caruso, Orderville Town

  • Scott Alvord, Utah Division of Emergency Management

  • Bart Battista, Best Friends Animal Society

  • Pat Horning, Big Water Fire Chief

  • Ben Dalton- Superintendent, Kane County School District

  • Craig Hansen, Kane County Senior Citizen Center

  • Devin Reed, Kane County IT Director

  • Pat Guerrero, Kanab Chamber of Commerce

  • Kasey Ramsay, Workforce Services

  • Lauren Willie, Red Cross

  • Chad Szymanski, Beehive Homes

  • Kory Young, Advantage Home Medical

  • Jeff Mosdell, Mosdell Mortuary


Alan Alldredge:

Welcomed everyone to the meeting and briefly discussed Kane County’s current status. Kane County is currently at 132 cases, which puts us third highest in the Southwest region. Our numbers have jumped rapidly in the last few weeks and hope that in a couple of weeks the numbers will drop off as fast when those cases are considered recovered.


Dr. Blodgett:

Statewide and in our counties, we have peaked and are in a flat or decreasing pattern. We have dropped about 25 percent since the peak, which was November 20, before Thanksgiving. There has been an increase in cases since Thanksgiving, but we did not see the potential spike that everyone was worried about. He mentioned that the Governor would be making some changes today, primarily in how schools are responding to cases and testing protocols that will help to keep students in school more. Data is showing there is not a lot of transmission in schools.


Vaccines are beginning to roll out. The first vaccines have arrived in Utah at the bigger hospitals that can meet the cold storage requirements and they are also the hospitals that are dealing with highest numbers of COVID patients.


The state is still working on how the vaccine for the general population will be distributed when we get to that point, whether that is through the health department or through pharmacies and private businesses. He explained that there are seven companies that are manufacturing vaccines. They are different technologies, but all the vaccines will work efficiently. The Johnson & Johnson product will only require one shot, where the others are all a two-shot series.


The first ones out are showing a 94 percent or greater effectiveness. Quarantine rules for those that have been positive with COVID – there is a 90 day window where you don’t have to quarantine from an exposure.


Ben Dalton:

The schools will start working on the new guidelines called “Test to Stay” that will help to keep kids in school after a potential exposure. The Christmas break will provide a two-week reset and hopefully students will be cautious over the holidays and school can resume with zero cases after the new year.


He was asked about the upcoming Cowboy Classic. Currently they will be able to distribute two tickets to each athlete to give to family to attend. If the state approves the request to allow 25 percent capacity, then that would allow about four tickets per athlete. Games will be streamed online, so anyone can watch.


Lamont Smith:

Commissioner Smith will be done as a commissioner at the end of the year. Many on the call thanked him for his 30 or so years of service to Kane County as the Sheriff and a Commissioner.

Sherrie Pandya and Stuart Willoughby:


Kane County Hospital will most likely be receiving the Moderna vaccine because it does not have the extreme cold storage requirement. It will still be a week or two before they receive vaccines for their workers. They have been very fortunate that they have not had any employees who have been infected from a work-related exposure. Some have had family or outside exposures.


The hospital is still doing large numbers of tests, but the last few days they have seen a decrease in positive results, which is a good sign. The ambulance has been transporting some positive patients recently.


Tracy Glover:

The Sheriff’s Office has seen a few positive cases among the staff, but has been very diligent about keeping it out of the inmate population.


The Sheriff’s Office has been able to acquire some tests and our r