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Utah reports highest single-day increase of COVID cases with 439 Friday

The Utah Department of Health reported an increase of 439 confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday -- the highest number reported in a single day since the beginning of the outbreak. (Utah Department of Health website)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Department of Health reported an increase of 439 confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday — the highest number reported in a single day since the beginning of the outbreak. 

Friday’s numbers reflect a total of 11,252 confirmed cases with 870 hospitalizations and 120 deaths. That’s an increase of 20 hospitalizations and three more deaths from Thursday. 

The total number of Utahns tested for the virus is at 232,197, with a 4.8% rate testing positive. The department reports 6,788 cases recovered. 

The 439 new cases reported Friday is the largest increase Utah has seen in a single day, but state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said nearly one-third of these cases came from a single outbreak at a local meat processing facility. Dr. Dunn said the department is currently investigating these cases, with many of the facility’s workers matching demographics that are at high-risk for COVID-19. 

“It’s more important than ever that employers provide safe working environments for their employees, and have policies in place that not only allow, but encourage, employees to stay away from the workplace when they are sick,” Dr. Dunn said in a statement.

Further information on how public health is working to contain the virus will be released by the Bear River Health Department. Dr. Dunn said she expects to see an increase of cases coming from this worksite and surrounding community. 

“For the rest of us, now is not the time to let your guard down,” Dunn said. “Social distancing is more important than ever, yet people seem to be taking it less seriously than ever.”

Dunn said it’s important for Utahns to remember to wash their hands and wear face masks when in public.