SALT LAKE CITY — The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Utah has risen to 39, health officials said Monday.

That number is up from 28 cases on Sunday.

Tooele and Wasatch counties both announced their first cases of the virus on Monday. Health officials believe the Wasatch case — a student at Wasatch High School — might have been caused through community spread, said Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health.

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The student case was identified while they were experiencing “early symptoms,” and all other students and staff who came into contact with the student are under quarantine, Dunn said. 

The Tooele case was travel-related, she said.

Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health together on Monday announced in a web conference that their systems will halt performing non-urgent, elective procedures until the crisis passes.

The measure is meant to free up space for a surge in COVID-19 patients and preserve medical supplies, said Dr. Mark Briesacher, Intermountain senior vice president and chief physician executive. Hospitals will reach out to patients in the coming days and weeks to reschedule their surgeries.

“We believe this is the right thing to do for our community. I don’t think we can overstate the danger of the pending epidemic,” said Dr. Sam Finlayson, professor and chairman of the U. Department of Surgery, noting what communities in Europe have seen recently. 

He said it would be “irresponsible” not to take such measures, as the U.S. is “just days” behind Italy in its outbreak.

The procedure postponement is expected to last weeks and possibly months, with the doctors saying they do not believe the crisis will “pass quickly.” 

The new cases reported Monday in Utah also include one resident in Davis County; two residents and two visitors in Salt Lake County; four Summit County residents, seven visitors; and one resident in the Weber-Morgan health district.

Below is a tally of cases by area:

  • Salt Lake County, 16 residents, 2 nonresidents
  • Summit County, 4 residents, 7 visitorsDavis County, 4 residents
  • Weber-Morgan, 2 residents
  • Utah County, 1 nonresident
  • Southwest Utah, 1 resident
  • Wasatch County, 1 resident
  • Tooele County, 1 resident

Summit County on Monday afternoon announced two additional cases in out-of-state visitors, who have now left Utah.

While some cases were spread through community transmission, the “vast majority” of cases have been travel-related, according to Dunn. Twenty-nine Utah residents and 10 nonresidents to the state have tested positive. The nonresidents, however, are still self-quarantining in Utah.

When asked why the state doesn’t go into lockdown, Dunn said partners are working statewide to ensure “a unified approach” in measures taken. Evidence doesn’t show that “stringent lockdown measures” prevent the disease, she said, and people still need to be with their families and purchase the things that they need. 

Although the number of cases continues growing, Dunn said it’s not to the point where people, if healthy, need to avoid seeing friends and family.

“As long as you’re not symptomatic, having those small gatherings are important during this time,” Dunn said.

More than 700 have been tested in Utah, according to Dunn, and “everybody who needs” testing is currently able to get it. But the state is prioritizing who gets tested — with a focus on those who are hospitalized or in long-term care facilities. Health care workers and first responders are also prioritized because they need to be able to continue helping people, she said. 

Meanwhile on Monday, University of Utah health clinics in South Jordan, Sugar House and Farmington began offering testing in tents set up to limit exposure within the clinics.

Throughout the morning, a steady flow of cars entered the clinic parking lot in South Jordan, with a car circling out of the area every few minutes. Some within their vehicles wore face masks.

Unlike in Denver, where large lines of cars waiting for testing have been reported at similar tents, the atmosphere at the South Jordan location appeared less frantic, without lines forming. To be tested, patients need to first see a health care provider in person or through telehealth and be approved, according to U. health officials.

When not helping patients, health workers wearing blue and red protective gear bustled within the tents working with equipment.

Salt Lake County officials announced Monday they are shutting down all dine-in options for restaurants, taverns, bars, entertainment venues and clubs in hopes of slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. Summit County made the same announcement on Sunday. Drive-thru and curbside services will still be allowed in both counties.

Hospital employees work at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility tent outside University of Utah Health’s South Jordan Health Center on Monday, March 16, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Also on Monday, the TriCounty Health Department issued a travel advisory for Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah counties, encouraging all residents to avoid nonessential travel outside their communities.

“Although we currently do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our three counties at this time, we are asking residents to continue to take reasonable measures to keep it that way as long as possible,” Jordan Mathis, department director, said in a statement.