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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Utah are up 42%, why?

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SALT LAKE CITY – Covid-19 hospitalizations in Utah are still rising. This is leading the state’s healthcare providers to worry about future hospital capacity. 

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up 42% in Utah over the past 11 days. 

Why? 

Intermountain Healthcare spokesman Jess Gomez says they do not know for sure why they are seeing more COVID-19 patients in their hospital. 

“Anecdotally, we’re seeing fewer masks on people. We’re also seeing instances where people are gathering. We saw that with the protests over the last two weeks, where a lot of people are coming together and some are wearing masks, others are not. But a large group of people that are gathering close together, we’re seeing that in other areas as well,” Gomez says. 

University of Utah Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Miller says their hospitalizations have been pretty stable, but he predicts an uptick will happen as the economy continues to open up. 

The office is also the place where many of their patients are catching COVID-19. 

“More and more people are coming back to work, and are coming in contact with one another, and that’s unfortunately how the virus spreads,” Dr. Miller says. 

Dr. Miller thinks it’s important for people to go back to work, but also for employees to use face masks and hand sanitizer to keep COVID-19 from spreading. 

Gomez is also encouraging people to stay safe and keep social distancing so hospitals do not become overwhelmed and people, whether they have COVID-19 or not, can get the medical care they need. 

“We want to make sure that that capacity is there in order to treat patients who develop and get sick from COVID-19. And for those who need hospitalization that that care and that access is there,” Gomez says.