SALT LAKE CITY– The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly around Utah. In less than a week, the state has surpassed its previous record for daily new cases, hospitalizations and percent average of positive cases.
On Thursday, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) reported 2,807 new cases of the virus, resulting in a 20.1% single-day positivity rate, setting another record. The 7-day rolling average of positive cases has reached 1,943 per day with a 19.5% positivity rate.
“It’s grim news and it’s discouraging,” said Gov. Gary Herbert during his weekly COVID-19 update.
However, he said the drastic increase in COVID-19 numbers isn’t surprising considering the state’s recent trajectory.
“We will continue to see dramatic increases until we choose to act differently,” said Herbert. “Medical professionals have warned us again and again. We must change our behavior if we are to expect a different outcome.”
Hospitalizations continue to rise
The number of people admitted to Utah hospitals because of coronavirus complications shows no sign of declining. As of Thursday, 389 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19, which is the highest amount in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.
Utah health care professionals have persistently warned hospitals are at or reaching capacity and outlined a plan to execute Crisis Standards of Care.
Intensive care units (ICU) across the state are at 78.5% occupancy, according to UDOH data. There are currently 158 COVID-19 positive people in the ICU.
Herbert said infections are increasing at a rate of 16% per week and hospitalizations have spiked 14% in the last two weeks.
“Care is being jeopardized right now,” Herbert said.
Seven more deaths reported
As hospitalizations continue to rise, so does Utah’s COVID-19 death toll. Seven more Utahns lost their lives to the virus, according to UDOH. A total of 632 Utahns have died from the virus since March.
Four out of the seven were hospitalized at their time of death. The three additional deaths were residents of a long-term care facility.
A female between the age of 45-64 from Utah County who was a long-term care facility resident has been removed from the total count following further investigation by the medical examiner.
Herbert said he plans to share additional steps the state will take to fight the surge of infections early next week.
How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, 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.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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