Summit County’s stay-at-home order still allows people to exercise outdoors, provided they keep their distance from others. But where do you go when there’s a pandemic on and you sprain your ankle on the Rail Trail?
For cases like that, Intermountain Healthcare and Vail Resorts have agreed to keep the Park City Mountain Resort Clinic open past the traditional end of the ski season to take care of anyone whose medical needs don’t involve a low fever, dry cough or body aches that they can’t attribute to an injury, according to Chuck Morrison, co-medical director of the Park City Mountain Resort Clinic.
“This way, we have a center where people can get adequate medical treatment without being exposed or having the fear of being exposed to the coronavirus,” Morrison said. “These injuries are still going to happen, right. People are still active, they’re still walking, talking, hiking, some of them are still cross-country skiing … people definitely need somewhere to go where they won’t have that fear.”
That also means the Park City InstaCare urgent care clinic, which is one of Summit County’s COVID-19 testing sites, will now only take patients who have symptoms indicating a coronavirus infection in order to isolate their care.
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“It’ll help inside that clinic to prevent that spread from getting out into the community,” Morrison said.
Patients with physical injuries and other conditions unrelated to coronavirus symptoms should also steer clear of the Park City Hospital unless their situation is truly an emergency, he said. Instead, head to Park City Mountain Resort.
When it’s time to resurface for fresh air, whether you’re working from home or planning quality time with your family, it’s tough to beat living in the Wasatch Range. But Morrison said that anyone planning to go backcountry skiing, mountain biking or hiking shouldn’t take this as a time to push their limits.
“As the pandemic goes up, our resources go down,” he said. “I would reel it in; take a lot more caution than you would in normal times because those medical services that we all take for granted may not be available.”
With that in mind, Morrison said that if you’re not sure whether that cough is just from having the wind knocked out of you while skiing or if those body aches are from falling off of a bike, visiting the InstaCare first is the safer bet as a clinic staffer is present to screen patients and refer them to the PCMR clinic if needed. It’s possible to both injure oneself and carry the coronavirus at the same time.
“If you are running, for example, you can sometimes generate a bit of a temperature,” Morrison said. “Sometimes people just aren’t aware that they have a low-grade fever.”
The Park City Instacare clinic is located at 1750 Sidewinder Drive and is only seeing patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms at this time, as well as offering testing, though Intermountain Healthcare asks patients to first call its coronavirus hotline at 844-442-5224. For all other immediate medical concerns, visit the Park City Mountain Resort Clinic at 1493 Lowell Ave., in the parking lot near First Time lift.