Utah’s Rate Of Positive COVID-19 Tests Has Doctors Concerned
MURRAY, Utah – Doctors don’t yet know whether Utah will experience a surge in COVID-19 cases after the December holidays, but the state’s positivity rate for testing remains one of the highest in the nation.
Utah has the ninth highest COVID-19 positivity rate in the country at nearly 30%, which Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious disease doctor at Intermountain Healthcare, called very high during a video briefing with reporters Monday.
“We haven’t really seen the effects of what’s happening for the Christmas holiday, the New Year’s holiday, at this time. We would expect to see that in the next few weeks,” Vento said.
He added the positivity rate told him community transmission is still very high, there is a lot of infection in the community that they are not catching, and we will continue to see high case counts that lead to hospitalizations.
After each long holiday weekend during the pandemic, Utah saw a rise in COVID-19 cases. Following the longer Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Vento expects to see a similar rise, although the rise in cases after Thanksgiving was much smaller than health officials expected.
The positivity rate here, he said, and across the country is still way above any level that would indicate control of the virus.
“If you’re still having percent positivity in the 30% range, that’s very high,” said Vento. “Remember, the WHO and the CDC had put out trying to get it below 5% — that shows excellent control.”
Vento pointed out that it has been many months since any state has had a positivity rate as low as 5%. Vento said they’ll be tracking the rolling averages of cases and positivity rate over the next couple of weeks to see what they show about our behavior during the last few weeks.
That high positivity rate likely means we will see another rise in cases.
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