On Basin Now

December 19, 2017

While flu activity has been minimal so far this season, health officials are still encouraging preventative measures. TriCounty health locations offer flu vaccines including those that are egg free for those with allergies and high dose for those over 50 years old. “Last year,” shares TriCounty PIO Liberty Best, “we saw a rise in Flu cases later in the year. There is still time and we encourage people to protect themselves by getting vaccinated against the Flu.” Data from the state shows that last year, cases of the flu shot up at the end of December. TriCounty Health District has had one reportable case of hospitalized influenza so far this season to date. The state also tracks the weekly student absenteeism rates on their Influenza report and the TriCounty Health District is just above the state average at 5.5 students absent per 100 per day.


On Basin Now

December 21, 2017

Inmates at the Duchesne County Jail are putting their hands to work knitting hats for a special cause. The Uintah County Teen Outreach Program and TriCounty Health Department started the Little Hats, Big Hearts hat drive this month to provide infant hats to hospitals and raise awareness for congenital heart defects. The goal of the Teen Outreach Program has been to donate 50 red crocheted or knitted hats to be given to newborns during the month of February and in order to reach their goal they invited the help of the community. Seven inmates from the Duchesne County Jail are among those that responded, knitting around 30 hats for the cause. The hats will be washed, packaged, and distributed by the American Heart Association to nurseries at hospitals that participate in the project. Donations are being accepted through January 5th and need to be in red cotton or acrylic yarn. Donation boxes will be at the Roosevelt and Vernal health departments and all are asked to consider helping this worthy goal.  


On Basin Now

December 22, 2017

A winter ozone alert system for the Uintah Basin may be aimed at keeping the oil and gas industry informed but can also have a broader reach. Director of the USU Bingham Research Center Seth Lyman explains that the alert system was designed to inform the oil and gas industry if there is poor air quality in order to make adjustments, but that all community members are welcome to sign up. “We made the alert system to tell you two days in advance what the air quality will be,” explains Lyman. “[It] sends out an email if poor air quality is forecast.” With that knowledge, it is hoped that adjustments can be made. For example, changing seals, checking equipment to make sure it is not leaking, and delaying blow downs in the oil and gas industry that put a lot of emissions into the air can make a big difference in air quality when there is an inversion. Lyman also explains that thanks to funds from the state Division of Air Quality, leak detection cameras are available to oil and gas facilities to see emissions of natural gas that cannot be seen by the naked eye. “It’s a great tool to find and reduce leaks,” shares Lyman, “and it’s completely free of charge and right here in Vernal.” Community members can also put the alerts to use and reduce their emission output by limiting use of wood stoves and never idling a vehicle. Every bit helps. Link through www.tricountyhealth.com to sign up for alerts.