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218 Utahns recovered from COVID-19 so far, state officials say

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn answered questions from reporters on Monday, April 13, 2020. Photo: KSL

SALT LAKE CITY — How many Utahns have recovered from COVID-19? It’s a question we get a lot at KSL. People ask us why we focus on the number of people diagnosed and not the number who’ve gotten better.

What it means to be “recovered” from COVID-19

Before today, the exact number on that was tricky. State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said in the past she couldn’t say with certainty how many people became sick and recovered from COVID-19 at home without ever being counted in the official cases.

However, today, using specific criteria, she offered a recovery number for COVID-19 in Utah: 218.

“Anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 more than three weeks ago and did not pass away is considered ‘recovered.’  As of today, we have 218 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19,” Dunn says.

Updated case counts

As of Monday, health officials reported 2,303 positive test results for COVID-19 in Utah, which includes 218 recovered.

The new number represents an increase of about 60 cases from the day before, but no new deaths, which held steady at 18. Six more patients required hospitalization statewide.

In all, the state health department reports clinics and hospitals have tested more than 45,000 Utahns for coronavirus.

More testing available

Dunn is calling on more Utahns to get the test for the virus, even if they’re only showing mild symptoms.  Researchers say they’re seeing a decrease in the demand for the tests, even though they’ve expanded testing centers all over the state, especially in rural portions of Utah.

“Right now, our Utah testing strategy is working for us.  We just need more people to seek it out,” she says.

Dunn says doctors, both nationally and internationally, are trying to learn more about how the virus is being spread by people who aren’t showing any symptoms at all.

“We really need to be able to understand who, in our community, has even the most mildest of symptoms so that we can better identify future hotspots and where the burden is across the state.”

From now on, someone having any one of the six main symptoms of coronavirus will be able to get tested. Those symptoms include fever, a dry cough, loss of taste or sense of smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, and muscle aches or pains.

Dunn said antibody testing, to see if someone already had COVID-19, is not yet available, but added research continues on that front.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah:

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States