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TriCounty Health Department apologizes for inappropriate text

Area residents line up for a vaccine clinic at Uintah High School on Apr. 22, 2021.

Area residents line up for a vaccine clinic at Uintah High School on Apr. 22, 2021. (Tri-County Health Department via Facebook)



VERNAL — The TriCounty Health Department, which serves Uinta, Duchesne, and Daggett counties, apologized this week for a vulgar text sent to some of their users, apparently from a third party.

In a Facebook post, the health department said the message came from a private texting service. They hired the company to help spread information about COVID-19 vaccines. Apparently, an employee of that company replied to that message with a text that included "inappropriate, offensive, and vulgar language."

The health department said the texts went to 52 people.

One commenter said they got the message.

"Ya, it was very vulgar! Pretty disgusting actually!" said Autumn Reynolds Hancock.

Health department, company apologize

The health department says they fired that texting company but that they had vetted them with other agencies in Utah.

"The inappropriate language and responses were NOT approved by either the TCHD or UDOH and we sincerely apologize to everyone who received the messages. As important as the vaccines are to the health of our community, we will find other ways to continue to educate the public as to the importance of receiving the vaccine," the post stated.

People who received the vulgar health department text then received another message from Public Results, apologizing as well. The company said the text came from a bad actor.

According to TriCounty Health officials, the apology read:

"Hi, this is Jessica with Public Results, a private texting service. You recently received a text in error on behalf of TriCounty Health Department that was not approved by the Department. This text was sent by a bad actor, and it is in no way reflective of the professionalism and mission of TCHD. I am so sorry for the message you received and any harm it may have caused."

Neither the health department nor Public Results disclosed the contents of the message.

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Lindsay Aerts

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