CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Utah Doctors Cautiously Optimistic About Drop In COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Feb 20, 2021, 8:49 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2021, 11:29 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Utah has steadily dropped for nine straight days, and that has doctors cautiously optimistic, but they said we can’t let our guard down just yet as the more contagious variant strains continue to spread.

In one month, COVID-19 related hospitalizations have dropped by more than half — going from 532 on Jan. 20 to 242 on Feb. 20.

“What we can even demonstrate locally is that we do feel there is significant change in the mobility and travel volumes between Thanksgiving and December,” said Dr. Todd Vento, infectious disease Telehealth program director at Intermountain Healthcare.

In addition to the post-holiday slowdown in travel, Dr. Vento pointed to several factors, including social distancing, masking, and having more natural antibodies in the community.

“Even though we’ve had almost 400,000 people infected, it means those are up to 400,000 people that might be at less risk from having cases now and being hospitalized,” he said.

Things are also looking good for older Utahns. Data indicates the risk of serious symptoms for those 50+ drops with the vaccine.

“If you think about it, those are the individuals who account for almost 3/4s of our hospitalizations, so if we’ve vaccinated a lot of our older folks, we will probably see fewer hospitalizations,” said the doctor.

According to Utah Department of Health officials, hospitalizations have steadily dropped for nine straight days, but Dr. Vento says we’re not out of the clear yet as new variants of the virus spread.

“When you looked at what happened when the UK strain established itself, the numbers went straight up — almost vertical,” he said. “Every time you see cases go vertical, you know a percentage of those will be in the hospital/ICU, and a percentage will die.”

He’s staying cautiously optimistic. Dr. Vento says masking and social distancing help buy time for more vaccinations, while slowing down transmission rates.

“The more a virus replicates and grows and spreads, the more chance it has to make errors and become mutations that are harder to treat and do with vaccinations,” he said. “That’s why we say keep fighting the good fight.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
5 days ago
...
Ashley Moser

Utah family hasn’t seen father in nearly 1,000 days due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

“None of us were expecting to not see him three years later,” a daughter shares how her Father remains in China.
7 days ago
ATLANTA, GA - UNDATED:  This undated handout photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...
Jed Boal

U of U researcher joins international team to confirm specific origin of COVID-19

New research released Tuesday confirmed the origin of COVID-19. A University of Utah Health and an international team of researchers found that the earliest cases of COVID-19 in humans emerged at a wholesale fish market in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
22 days ago
Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...
Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.
27 days ago
(File) Intermountain Healthcare Faculty in Murray....
Jed Boal

COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled, but mortality rate is low

Hospitals see an uptick in COVID hospitalizations due to a new infectious variant that is less lethal but more transmittable.
1 month ago
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal

Researchers: Intermittent fasting provides protection against severe COVID-19

Doctors at Intermountain Healthcare have researched the health benefits of intermittent fasting for nearly a decade. Their latest discovery: intermittent fasting helps protect against severe COVID, but it is not a replacement for vaccination.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Utah Doctors Cautiously Optimistic About Drop In COVID-19 Hospitalizations