Bountiful Temple

This undated photo shows the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in Bountiful.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who died from the coronavirus had visited a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple in the week prior to his diagnosis, church officials said.

The temple in Bountiful was closed Sunday after state health officials announced the man's death. It wasn't immediately clear how many people had visited the temple at the same time as the man or in the days before it was closed.

Davis County Health Department officials have tried to find and contact anyone who came into close contact with the man, said spokeswoman Isa Perry. The risk of infection for those who might have gone to the temple would be no different than in any other community setting, Perry said.

The man who died was in his 60s and is believed to have have been infected with the coronavirus while traveling, health officials have said. He is Utah's only death due to COVID-19.

Generally speaking, people are considered to be at an elevated risk if they spent 10-minutes or more within six feet of a person who is symptomatic, said Utah Health Department spokesman Tom Hudachko.

For most people, coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' didn't respond to questions Tuesday, but said Monday in a statement that that man had visited the temple on an unspecified day in the week prior to his diagnosis.

The church has closed several dozen temples around the world due to the spread of the coronavirus, including another in the Salt Lake City suburb of South Jordan, due to potential use by someone who might have been exposed to the virus.

In other developments:

  • Two gubernatorial candidates are calling on the state to accept signatures electronically as the coronavirus outbreak halts most traditional door-knocking efforts, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Former U.S.-Russia ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr., who is seeking to regain his old seat as governor, and Jan Garbett, both Republicans, say the step would help preserve the democratic process during a time of national crisis.

State officials say major changes would require the approval of the Legislature, but they’re looking into what else can be done.

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