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COVID-19 cases in Utahns drop while vaccination numbers rise

FILE - This September 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a pharmacist preparing to give an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. (Johnson & Johnson via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY– COVID-19 infection rates are dropping in Utah while COVID-19 vaccination numbers are on the rise, now that more Utahns are eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Utah State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn reported case numbers are steadily dropping in the state, with 527 cases reported Thursday. Dunn believes this is a good sign but warns people who live in Utah to stay on guard. 

“We need to of course still wear face coverings and social distance when we can,” Dunn said. “Stay home when you’re sick and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is your turn.”

State leaders are encouraging everyone who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine to do so. As of Thursday, everyone older than 16 years old can schedule their appointment to get the vaccine. 

The decision to lower the age for the vaccine comes as many students are about to go on spring break. Utahns ages 15 to 24, the demographic representing most students, make up the second-highest COVID-19 rates in the state. These Utahns represent about 24% of all COVID-19 cases in the state of Utah.

Utah County Health Department spokesperson Aislynn Tolman-Hill said her county released more COVID-19 vaccine appointments on Thursday. 

Additionally, the health department has more doses of the vaccine this week.

“[We have about] six or seven thousand vaccines, the first dose will be released tonight and the second will follow,” she said.

Tolman-Hill added a lot of people will be visiting the site tonight to get an appointment.

“We do ask that people be patient if they don’t get an appointment,” Tolman-Hill said. 

There are other providers in the state where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Wednesday, Salt Lake County Health Department said they had COVID-19 vaccine appointments available through the month of April. 

Utah Governor Spencer Cox says he was able to get scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine as the state opened eligibility to residents 16 and up. 

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.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • 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).
  • Obtain a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

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

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