Utah Nears 4K New COVID-19 Cases For First Time; Nine More Patients Die
Nov 12, 2020, 11:42 AM | Updated: 1:10 pm
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – State health officials on Thursday announced nine more Utahns have died as a direct result of COVID-19.
Currently, 468 people with the virus are hospitalized.
Utah’s hospital capacity is of high concern. The state’s ICU threshold is 85% capacity. On Thursday, ICU beds were 83% full.
Another 3,919 residents have tested positive for the virus, shattering the state’s previous record for new cases reported in a single day.
‘Act More Like High School Athletes’
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said on Wednesday, 1,400 high school sport student and staff were tested, and there were only 53 cases.
She said those student athletes have been taking precautions seriously.
“We should all start acting more like high school athletes,” she said.
Dunn emphasized that if Utahns will take the precautions seriously, wear masks and limit social gatherings to a single household in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, then the state will see an effect in lowering the spread of the virus.
Gov. Gary Herbert said 4.5 – 5% of people who test positive end up in the hospital, and the state’s hospitals are already overwhelmed.
Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association, reiterated the governor’s message and implored Utahns to follow the guidelines and limit social gatherings through the remainder of the state of emergency.
Bell underscored the fact that it’s not just the number of beds available in Utah hospitals that is important – it’s also the number of staff needed to care for the sick.
Hospitals cannot continue to add 90 – 100 patients every day, he said. Health care workers will be unable to handle the continued surge.
There are three stages of hospital care standards: normal care, contingency care, and crisis care.
Utah is currently in the contingency care stage, which means they have had to transfer patients between hospitals and between hospital systems and they’ve had to add medical teams to provide more care.
If the state’s hospitals have to move to crisis care, it could mean having to ration care.
Herbert said that is why a public health order was needed.
- Masks are now mandated statewide, and there currently is not an expiration date for that mandate.
- Social gatherings are limited to only those with whom you live for two weeks.
- Most high school sports and extracurricular activities are on pause for two weeks.
- Testing for college students has been ramped up.
The governor pleaded with Utahns to be patient, noting that it takes two weeks to see the effect of the current health order.
The Utah Department of Health reported that a total of 1,204,549 people have been tested so far, which is an increase of 13,926 tests since yesterday.
To date, 143,639 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19, which is an increase of 3,919 from the previous day.
The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 2,738 per day, and the rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is now at 23.2%.
Currently, 468 people are hospitalized with the virus, and 191 of those people are in intensive care units.
Utah’s non-ICU beds are 54.4% full. The state’s ICU beds are now 83% full. The ICU beds in Utah’s referral centers are now at 87.4% capacity, which is above the threshold for best care for COVID-19 patients.
Referral Centers are the 16 hospitals in Utah with the capability to provide the best care for patients with COVID-19. Because most patients are transferred to these facilities, their utilization is the best reflection of the true hospital capacity in Utah when looking at ICU beds.
UDOH reported on Thursday that nine more of Utah’s residents have lost their lives because of COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 687.
The following Utahn’s deaths were reported on Thursday:
- Male, older than 85, Davis County resident, long-term care facility resident
- Male, between 65-84, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 45-64, Salt Lake County resident, not hospitalized at time of death
- Female, older than 85, Salt Lake County resident, long-term care facility
- Male, between 65-84, Sevier County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 65-84, Uintah County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, older than 85, Utah County resident, not hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 45-64, Utah County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 65-84, Weber County resident, hospitalized at time of death.
For more information on COVID-19 statistics and the current state of emergency order, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.